I am trying to cherish
this terrible city, this glittering city.
Oh, how its residents dance!
The basal ganglia
whiskey-whooping its luminous messages.
The tilted cerebellum
kicking offbeat. And the lobes—
all my disorder-
and tuxxed, bopping in a line
not quite a line,
shaking their sparklers to receive me.
My Magic 8-Ball brain
spins with twenty answers for everything—all twenty,
yes. Yes, god-orb. Yes, sunstone.
Yes, synth-pop skull
fritzing with pop rocks. Yes, clock
miswound, clock on coals, clock
shotput to Elysium
and speeding with light. Tonight, I will not curse
the jagged slivers
you, crushed ornament, have
I’ve neglected you for far too long,
you too-sweet fruit bruising in one blue spot, but—yes—
Eugenia Leigh is a Korean American poet and the author of Bianca (forthcoming via Four Way Books, 2023) and Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows (Four Way Books, 2014), winner of the Late-Night Library’s 2015 Debut-Litzer Prize in Poetry and finalist for both the National Poetry Series and the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications including Ploughshares, The Nation, Pleiades, Waxwing, The Rumpus, and the 2017 Best of the Net Anthology. The recipient of fellowships and awards from Poets & Writers Magazine, Kundiman, Rattle, and elsewhere, Eugenia received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.