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Poetry

Jenny Wong

Jenny

Jenny Wong is a writer, traveler, and occasional business analyst. When she’s not attempting to use her computer science degree for good, she’s writing in her loft or adventuring with her wise-cracking husband and their grumpy middle-aged dog. Her publications include The Quilliad, 3Elements Review, Peacock Journal, Vallum, NōD Magazine, and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.

THE CAFE AT THE CORNER OF PORT TOWNSEND AND THE SEA

There is a hint of summer
in sunny yellow dots woven
across a periwinkle dress.
The whisper of a chill remains
knitted in a seaman’s wool worn cap.

Glass jars stand watch ’round
soft treasures of just-baked cookies.
Fingertips play hopscotch on
guitar strings and keyboards
while laptop fans froth the air with white noise.

Old potbellied stove curls in a corner
intent to settle in a cold sleepy slumber,
sated from his long meal
of kindling and firewood.
Do not disturb until first signs of winter.

Tea leaves wade at the bottom of cups
foretelling of reluctant departures.
While outside, spring rain has ceased;
wet prints drying on the window,
no longer sniffing along cracks in the sill.

THE CATACOMBS OF SAN GIOVANNI

“Non toccare,” a stern reminder
to a small hand.
Even a child feels the urge to connect
and the guilt of touch
in this place where dust and dead skin
accrete along rocky hollows,
where bones once rested,
hidden from sunlight, streetlight,
and headlights.
Our guide tells us the tombs are empty now,
but we still feel the weight
of the bodies, the recollection of gravity
chambered there in the shadows.
Cool air gusts, bringing
whispered prayers from long ago
while chinked in the gaps,
a string of lights hum
a simple rendition of a monk’s song,
guiding us away from the temptation
to rip deeper into the earth.

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