Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The School of Night & Hyphens

The sky tonight, so without aliens. The woods, very lacking
in witches. But the people, as usual, replete

with people. & so you, with your headset, sit
in the home office across the hall, stuck in a hell

of strangers crying, computers dying, the new
father’s dropped-in-toilet baby

photos, the old Canadian, her grandson Gregory,
all-grown-up-now Greg, who gave her this phone

but won’t call her. You call her
wonderful. You encourage her to tell you what’s wrong

with her device. You with your good-at-your-job
good-looking-ness, I bet even over the phone

it’s visible. I bet all the Canadian grandmas
want you, but hey, you’re with me. Hey, take off

that headset. Steal away from your post. Cross
the hall, you sings-the-chorus-too-soon, you

makes-a-killer-veggie-taco, you
played-tennis-in-college-build, you Jeffrey, you

Jeff-ship full of stars, cauldron full of you,
come teach me a little bit

of nothing, in the dark
abundant hours.

Credit


Copyright © 2017 Chen Chen. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2017.

 

Author


Chen Chen

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017).

Date Published: 2017-12-11

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/school-night-hyphens