Agnes Hanying Ong



The Poor Fisherman Feels More Dignified Dying


Had I lived in brine and bile and prayed in space
with care instructions her clothing might have. They want to know if anyone
is ever alive. So what is cow sauce? What

is grandfather? Me? I know the imagined, appled dusk. How
I meet my homemaker is none
of our beeswax in the middle of a mall and its wand, like a drugged

tree encircling. But everyone
is broken. What did we expect? The tree,
duh, we antique, is ant-laced

with many a relief, knowing how it moves into your chest, as the sentient ticks
the appropriate square of paper, its ironies

sound. Now I don’t know. Oh, I know. I know, I know why
G-spot is called grandfather spot. The imagined

appled dusk. It is true. All women are
disabled from birth. So it is locked, and locked again

like a G-spot, in the warm interior
monologue. We are pretending to be better on a better farm

than this one
our working-class parents and grandparents say
never happened. I say yes! And no, a murder

never happened. I say we be wagering: environmental
propylene glycol, all the way down to the cold who-why, who-why

the imagined appled dusk. So
should we ask: Do you want to talk about it? With what
only the mangoes

know. The mangoes know how, to be beyond the chain-licked fences, such
gifts, cocooned in fly-
bitten bouquets

of freshest,
oldest crimes smelling like ethylene, all
the way down to the cold who-why, who-why

killed my father and babies and mother, killed
my vocabulary. In rural India. It was all over the paper

route tacking bloody palmprints, footprints
to follow, my little
corrosive fingers, vaporizing for another world. Don’t worry,

grandfather is up there, in hymen now, trying the context, until the twin
crosses in that c-word, with the small sea, never happen, on that right
side of history, until you are mind

out of your body, until nothing else matters more
than: especially, machinery oiled, gut strings zipped, nada. Mother
and for a while now his body has grown

agape, like clam shell, who opens its mouth to the loudness
of potential lobster
abattoir, pots and pans, where God is

lost and found caught
smoking and chained, too, its life drawn out and down, into: her:

the clouds.



Agnes Hanying Ong is a queer-crip poet whose poetry has been in The Scores, Drunk Monkeys, Gravel, Ilanot Review, Rogue Agent, the anthology Narrow Doors in Wide Green Fields and other wondrous places.

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