‘Ignition’ by Helli Fang

— Joyce Chong

                    Why is it that the more we touch
each other, the smaller we feel?
Maybe the
only thing we were meant to taste is the flesh

of our own prayers.

This week, I’m sharing a wonderful poem in The Blueshift Journal by Helli Fang. ‘Ignition’ is a contemplation, a series of images packed and folded so tightly within one another that they can’t be easily unraveled, at least not into the familiar, the expected.

Fang’s poem speaks to both a wider sense of humanity, the yearning for closeness, as well as a quieter, more personal sense of humanity. The one found in-between moments of everyday life, the unexpected clarity glimpsed in some of the least assuming junctures. Fang’s writing is expansive, it doesn’t shrink in on a moment or image microscopically, but it grows and transforms, restless for a type of dynamism. A type of vitality and crisp imagery we could always use more of in poetry.

                                                    How I wanted
my body to open that way. As if everything
left to swallow in this world was already

inside of me, waiting to fill some stranger’s
half-open palm.

The Blueshift Journal