Chen Chen

Summer Was Forever

Time dripped from the faucet like a magician’s botched trick.

I did not want to applaud it. I stood to one side & thought,

What it’s time for is a garden. Or a croissant factory. What kind

of work do I need to be doing? My parents said: Doctor,

married to lawyer. The faucet said: Drip, drop,

your life sucks. But sometimes no one said anything & I saw

him, the local paper boy on his route. His beanstalk frame

& fragile bicycle. & I knew: we would be so terribly

happy. Our work would be simple. Our kissing would rhyme

with cardiac arrest. Birds would overthrow the cathedral towers.

I would have a magician’s hair, full of sleeves & saws,

unashamed to tell the whole town our first date was

in a leaky faucet factory. How we fell in love during jumps

on his tragic uncle’s trampoline. We fell in love in midair.



“Race to the Tree” is from When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017)