A Biography of Women in the Sea: Nü Wa by Jennifer Cheng


To think of the world as a series of doors, to consider not walking through.
Everything covered in a succulent mist, a cloud of droplets through which to peer
and be. With a boat she could wait & watch some very big sky as if pouring over,
observing the line between cloud & storm, a mercurial spreading of eventide.
With a boat she could keep a surface, shifting or not; she could keep a world

under. Here is the part one always forgets to recall: it was her wayward cloud, her
movement that made the storm gather; she buried a tooth under a mound & the
largest mountain crumbled. To remain still: to be flanked by fear, absent of want,
to hold out for something better. She will wait to want the sky settling down, she
wants to watch the sky taking root.

Jennifer S. Cheng is the author of the forthcoming hybrid book Moon: Letters, Maps, Poems, selected by Bhanu Kapil as winner of the Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. Her debut book, House A, was selected by Claudia Rankine as winner of the Omnidawn Poetry Book Prize, and her work appears in Tin House, AGNI, Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, The Normal School, and elsewhere. She received fellowships and awards from Brown University, the University of Iowa, San Francisco State University, the U.S. Fulbright program, Kundiman, Bread Loaf, and the Academy of American Poets. Having grown up in Texas and Hong Kong, she lives in San Francisco. www.jenniferscheng.com