Noli Me Tangere

Shelley Wong

             the fields were scribbled on
                                                                         or as blank as envelopes


                                 to write about birds & not think hunter
                                 not think bright cage for two


                                                                         on the train, I slept in shuttering light

              through a bombed city returned
              to its Baroque splendor


                                  a friend once said the body knows


               I played the ingénue
                                                                         the floating flower stalls
                                                                         lit through the rain
                                                                         like a beautiful alphabet

               the azaleas were a parting gift
                                                                         as I drew a zipper
                                                                         shut across the continent—


                                  women are familiar with surrender
                                  & the appearance of it

from Issue 29.2

SHELLEY WONG is a Kundiman fellow and the author of the chapbook Rare Birds (Diode Editions). Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Sixth Finch, Vinyl, and other journals. She is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop.