Breath for Metal

This a story
I’ve kept in soft
orange inside
my steel body. I’ve wanted

to wait until I’ve
cooled to hum, until
my touch wouldn’t burn.

I’ve practiced to gentle 

             not to be odd.   To remember
me a calm line transmitting        not artificial

sugar smile melts a rainy spring I do not want
to feel a tug       you wait again for what’s
             dissolved into scent for this week.

Copyright © 2023 by Ching-In Chen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 5, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.