- POETRY -

THE MAGICIAN'S PAST LIVES

Lo Kwa Mei-en

ISSUE TWELVE | SPRING 2019

The kingdom was mine once nailed to the wall. I was a king maligned. I was a surgeon who met death, pulled rank, and excised the space death was taking. With the doubled right hand of reason, I authored my quiet army. When she burned in the square, my daughter made a mess of her tongue and coughed herself to death. I taught her what mattered, didn’t I? I was an elemental father, consolidating the most wayward planets. I was a starstruck husband, groping at the hem of the sky, the unsullied air caged in my sleeve. Before that, I took my vows with a simple slash of snowy cake. But somebody must become the confessor in a wooden box, straining against the roof of disguise. Every version of the world will suffer until the construction of my home is complete. I blasted the door clean from its frame in order to touch the heart of the child that knew my face. I was a good man.

Lo Kwa Mei-en is the author of Yearling (Alice James Books) and The Bees Make Money in the Lion (CSUPC), and two chapbooks, The Romances (The Lettered Streets Press) and Two Tales (Bloom Books). She lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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