Image: Afu Chan

Monkey’s Hair Speaks

Pluck me from your skin,
Sun Wukong. Hold me
to your lips. I will
change for you.
When they ask where?
I will say China.
I will forget Michigan
for you, Sun Wukong.
I will dig my placenta
from underneath
the pine tree. My mother
buried it there.
I will eat it for you,
Sun Wukong.
Pick me, Sun Wukong.
I have already changed
for you, you know.

Monkey’s 238,1991 Hairs

We all look the same,
Sun Wukong.
You chewed us,
bathed us
with your tongue
and spat us
into the world as
yellow clones.

We drip of you,
Sun Wukong. Reek
of fermented peach
and stone
and the sickly,
dried wood-ear taint
of the aisles at the
Chinese grocery store.

[1] 238,199 — the number of “Asians” living in Michigan. American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau.

Monkey Leaves For A Generation, Comes Back And

You left me alone, Sun Wukong.
One day in Heaven is a year below.
I waited, but when you never
came back, I cooked my own rice.
I stir-fried my own tofu. I used
Google translate. I wrote my own
e-mails. I called my grandfather
on his birthday and did not argue
with him about his new girlfriend.
I danced with Hanuman. I hit
a bronze gong over and over
with a heavy mallet. I pounded
knives from glowing metal.
I cut out my own silhouette.
I brought my boyfriend home
from the bus station
and we kissed in my bed
while everyone else was asleep.
I’m not waiting for you,
Sun Wukong. If you want to know
me, you must come looking.


Jasmine An

Jasmine An is a queer, third generation Chinese-American who comes from the Midwest. She has also lived in New York City and Chiang Mai, Thailand, studying poetry, urban development, and blacksmithing. Her first chapbook, Naming the No-Name Woman, was published as the winner of the 2015 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in HEArt Online, Stirring, Heavy Feather Review, and Southern Humanities Review. Currently, she is an editor for Agape Editions and lives in Chiang Mai studying the Thai language and urban resiliency to climate change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *