Lantern Review | Issue 9.2

Jireh Deng

Towards fidelity

I'll follow, telescoped and spun skyward,
To astrolabe the layout of the flush and brittle
In her skin. If she asks me, I'll swear it down
The Mariana Trench. So let's make like Theseus,
To and fro, until arriving as strangers before
Heaven's door. Skin. Bone. Organ. Eukaryote.
Atom. With thimble and needle, all threads lead to
Her name when I trace the taxidermy. My own
Kin tried to stone me. As in, aiming to scare-
Crow the devil out of me. And here I am. Cardboard
Head with a grandfather clock for a heart, dream
Waking towards Neverland where fathers carve
Lineages through the rings of the ancient
Sequoia. There we bleed myrrh and formaldehyde
Lifting our offerings to a Great Other whose eye
Gazes towards us, hell and unflinching. Each time
A knuckle whistles through wind, a fault line quivers,
The earth surges to swallow the man who has
Disturbed the quiet. At the end of the burrowing
I touch the light, my lover appears, her head cradled
In the palm of my hand. Only then I release Helios
To ride out our days while I rest in my lover’s bed
In some high castle hidden in the thorn and thistle.

Photo of Jireh Deng Jireh Deng is a queer Taiwanese/Hong Konger American writer based in Southern California with a passion for journalism and poetry. Their work appears in the Asian American Writers’ Workshop's The Margins, on the podcast VS, and with Youth Speaks, TEDxCSULB, and the Human Rights Campaign, amongst others. In summer 2021 they were an opinion pages intern at the Los Angeles Times and in fall 2021 will be an intern at NPR’s Diverse Sources desk. • Photo by Grace Widyatmadja

Return to the top of the page ▲