A Biography of Women in the Sea: Snake Sisters by Jennifer Cheng


Inside her dress, an envelope. Inside her dress, disembodied [      ]. Stitching of her
girlish traces, maw-soaked daydreams—we could call it shadow-play, a bowl of
wishbones, fish skeletons, or everything you need

to unwind those lines. Inside her dress: embodied prescriptions. She was trying to
say somewhere here while also nothing to fear. She was holding a stick, tracing
circulars in the dirt. To tell you a compass, to say you our bodies and their
weathervane hours.

a nest is a hidden place for animals of the earth that slip away & defy the ground.
& what is the boundary of a girl anyway? Misremember her childhood: a pocket
with which to catch satellite light, a collar with which to betray corner skin, a hem
to invert inside.


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