Shelley Wong

Dear Frida

You have me tangled
in flower names. Skulls chatter
as I dance with a woman  
or a man. We are twinned.
I imagine us on a patio above the sea,
you with your tequila
and me with my toronja Jarritos,
chortling at those who click
their tongues at us. You turn
my hand over in yours
as I tell you how I prayed
for the flood. We’re not savages
because who isn’t lonely?
He approves of your dresses
when your skirts turn

into a temple. Let the parrots loose
when you hear his fist against
your locked door. I was once
caught in my own silence,
that sharp circle. My light elsewhere,
scattered across the waves.

Shelley Wong

Shelley Wong is a Kundiman fellow who lives in Oakland, California. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Vinyl, The Normal School, West Trestle Review, Linebreak, and The Collagist.