The Poetry Project

Christine Kwon

Noh Mask

I will no longer shed
My poetic countenance
I will proudly tie it to my face
Before I go out

I liked it so much
Being young

Fortunately I am quite dead now

Fortunately I have two faces

In one light I’m smiling
From certain angles
I’m not

Like prada slip-ons politely
Folding its dry fingers
Over a pope’s feet

I have felt my body
As a separate entity

Inside I am being born
I am taking pictures

And sometimes I am dying too
But unlike the body
I come back a little young again

Blithely buying one entrance ticket
To the garden

Sometimes my husband tells me
Without telling me
To get a job

Hands crossed at my sacrum
I pace
Like a priest
Does he not know
I have a calling

Does he not know
I must worship myself
That every night
I prostrate

That I must hack away
At the body
That evil weed
That threatens to choke me out

To wake up
Only spirit

You who need your body
To work
Whose presence is required somewhere
To exist

Cannot see
When I am at my desk
You must light a candle

Issue 19