Practice in the Shadow Room by Sharon Wang

To call the body occupied, one had to first occupy—
wire suspended in an empty room.

Nothing perched on it.

When I touched you again I didn’t feel
your body, exactly,
but some shape of it held in mind,
the way I held the rolling pears, their forms
cast in light. Rolling until we had forgotten
they were called pear.

You said, we have to get to the core of it,
and we sharpened our knives across the loins.

Gourd-flower, flesh-flower, what passed through
the bird’s mouth and came away, clean.
What passed beneath the knife, the hand knowing how.

Deep inside the fruit: the cross-cut
of a hidden star.


Sharon Wang‘s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in DIAGRAM, The Antioch Review, Anti-, The Collagist, and The Pinch. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis’ MFA program, she lives in Chicago and works as an arts grant writer.