The Field of Cattle

Poetry / Jess X Chen

You drill yourself into this Earth / I am not ready to receive
your premature burial / I touch myself until I open wide
enough to bury you / a city, so afraid of the dark / power
lines electrocute all of my trees into illumination / blinded,
I close my eyes and count down the seconds until you climax
but it never comes / I am not ready to become your gravesite so
I imagine / leaving this body behind / spirit soaring from the cage
of my mouth / on a field of poppies, a whip cracks the back
of a beast / all the starlings in the forest take flight / I open
my eyes / your gaze ruptures the night / your face no longer
a friend / my body—no longer a girl but / an empty field
you slice into / & I understand now what it must have taken
for you / to have beaten centuries of wild animals / into cattle.

Jess X Chen is a filmmaker, multi-disciplinary artist/activist and nationally-touring poet. Her poetry has appeared in Nepantla: A Journal For Queer Poets of Color, The Offing, Hyphen Magazine and The Margins. Through film, mural-making, poetry and education, she is working toward a future where migrant and indigenous youth of color see themselves whole and heroic, on the big screen and the city walls & then grow up to create their own.