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A Wreath of Hummingbirds.

 I suffer a different kind of loneliness. From the antique
ringtones of singing wrens, crying babies, and ballad medleys my ears
have turned to brass.
 They resurrect a thousand extinct birds, emus, dodos, and shelducks,
though some, like the cerulean glaucous macaw, could not survive the
snow. How heavily they roost on trees in raw twilight.
I will not admire those birds, not when my dull head throbs, I am
plagued by sorrow, a green hummingbird eats me alive with its stinging
needle beak.
Then I meet you. Our courtship is fierce in a prudish city that scorns
our love, as if the ancient laws of miscegenation are still in place. I
am afraid I will infect you
after a virus clogs the gift economy: booming e-trade of flintlock guns
sags. Status updates flip from we are all connected to we are exiles.
What bullshit
when in that same prudish city, they have one exact word to describe the
shades of their sorrow, when they always sit together and eat noodles
during white days of rain, in one long table, though not all.
As a boy, my father used to trap little brown sparrows, bury them in hot
coal, and slowly eat the charred birds alone in the green fields, no
sounds, no brothers in sight.
Holiest are those who eat alone. Do not hurt them, do not push them,
insult them, do not even stare at them, leave them to eat alone, in

CATHY PARK HONG's first book, Translating Mo'um, was published in 2002 by Hanging Loose Press. Her second collection, Dance Dance Revolution, was chosen for the Barnard Women Poets Prize and was published in 2007 by W.W. Norton.
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Title Annotation:two poems
Author:Hong, Cathy Park
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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