A white boy holds his hand
like a gun.

The earth bleeds out its rivers,
I fist a flower. Don’t let them

say genesis. Don’t let them say
born again. Show me a hunger

that names itself and I’ll
show you my mouth,

its feast of ashes. I’ll show
you a cut that closes itself

like a curtain. Unpin me
from my skeleton

and I’m water, I’m song.
Don’t you understand?

My body hates being
in your poem. My body

will never understand its own
heat. My palms are full

of dirt that will never
know life, I twist with

the light buried in my chest
like a knife. Will we always

be this nameless, our shadows
swelling the sky with storm? Will

we ever know our hands? When
the white boy calls you alien,

dress in a green so pure
he turns away. Those eyes

as green as American money. Tell him,
only say my name if you can

swallow it dead.


Kristin Chang is a QWOC from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Perigee (Apogee Journal), SOFTBLOW, the Asian American Writers Workshop, Cosmonauts Avenue, HIV Here & Now, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for two Best of the Net Awards and is currently on staff of Winter Tangerine Review. She is located at

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.