A Poem by Debora Kuan

Mantra

My husband didn’t like his mantra.
“Shirim” or “Shring” or “Schwing,”
something to that effect.
My own mantra was much longer.
“It is only money.” I chanted
it in the shower. I whispered it
into a mussel. I shouted
it from the fire escape to
the ramheaded gargoyle
across the street. I think
you’re doing it wrong
,
my husband said. Your eyes
should be closed and you
shouldn’t be shouting
.
I ignored him and continued
my diatribe, shaking my fists
at greedy little ghosts.
You don’t control me, money!
No, you don’t!
Then I went
inside and fried up a $50 bill
with sauerkraut and ate it
with a side of buttered toast.
It didn’t taste like chicken.
I’d say more like manta ray.

Debora Kuan is the author of Xing (Saturnalia Books, 2011). Recent poems and fiction have appeared in Adult, Brooklyn Rail, Buenos Aires Review, The Iowa Review, and HTMLGIANT. She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell, has written for Artforum and Art in America, and is a senior editor at Brooklyn Arts Press.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.