A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Kristin Chang


You say you want to bone me


& I say try. I’m / all meat & / lesser light. I dropped my bones / off the Great Wall / pretended
Matt Damon was somewhere below / to catch them in his maw / Mother says / don’t worry /
she’ll stitch me up tight / as a fist / one of her lies like / Spit into a womb to seed it / or I’d love
you more if you spoke Chinese
/ Truth is / I live too close to the surface / of my body / I’m a
ghost / in a collared shirt / I stand in mirrors / to breed myself bloodlessly / to see all the names /
a body can carry: / live exhibit, domesticated / species Mongoloid / Listen / I’ll let you knead
me / into something pretty / I’ll even keep house / by forcefeeding myself / my own mouth / by
sugaring my bones / for your throat / let you tongue around / my foreign verbs / watch me shrug
off my skin / like roadkill / like so much to bare / so many ways of being / dying & I chose you /
I tape a diagram of my face / over my face / I post my body as clickbait / as YOU WON’T
/  Mother appears in my dreams / in a silk bomber jacket / she plays Matt
Damon’s love interest / his body on top of hers / bucking like a tooth / In my dreams / she turns
into a flood / swallows Matt & calls it birth / clean as bone makes more bone / & blood / more


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My favorite souvenir is a miniature Terracotta soldier I bought in Xi'an at a dusty shop. In Xi'an, many roads have no lane dividers, so the cars crowded like crooked teeth and the whole city felt like a hot mouth. I remember that during the entire tour of the terracotta soldiers, I could only understand 25 percent of the tour-guide's speech. So I bought the souvenir as a reminder to learn more Mandarin, and also because I don't want to be lonely in the afterlife.

Kristin Chang lives in California. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Asian American Writers Workshop, Public Pool, fog machine lit, Nailed magazine, and elsewhere. She is on staff at Winter Tangerine Review and is located at