from Lovechild

Valerie Hsiung

Eventually I had to force myself to stop,
to stop what I was doing, and to wait, to remember,
and then to go back to what I used to do.

It will go on like this, for many years.
Until they are almost old, and if they make it to then,
they’ll alas have a spare moment.

Maybe a spare house if they flip the other house well.

But it’s fun to play games with our conversations
about what could have been.
Even now, when you feel totally safe, a part of you knows
you can never be real with each other.


In this game of chase for heads or tails
I sense…
an evolution!
It’s sticky,
kind of.
It reminds me of a hard candy with lint on it, and carpet grime,
or a peach rind that was dropped and fell beneath a sofa
and nobody found it for several months. It’s that hard part
            inside you,
like a stone birth you bring up at a party because the gross lady is the don’t fuck with me lady,
            inside us,
that really makes me freeze up, at a party,
            slow-motion around us, and see you see me see you through haze.
And in that moment, we’re like a song.
Music is neither essential to humanity nor corruptible, it is essential to animality. I’ve      
            heard it.
I’ve worked all day, all week, all month, all the lines and corners of my life I’ve worked,
            but you’ll still be new to me at the end of the day, darling.
Newspaper boy, newspaper girl, how do pebbles wrangle our labor out of the oily water?
Wash myself first in the dirty water. Covered in the soot of newspapers, I become
the source of dirt for the water.


And she went through a rough patch…
And you can see it in the way the road weaves through grass to the house,
As if her life was a story but it wasn’t a story.

She always used to wear her heart on her sleeve,
it was what made her come to life from cartoon to creature, after that,
it just made her go blank sort of somehow.

She knew how a whole person
could get up, and go, change
just like that.


I feel constantly afraid.
Constantly as in lately.
Lately as in everything does come crashing down.
Now I know what it means, when it rains it pours.
I want to utter to you
Please don’t hurt yourself!!!!!
I love you.
She licks her finger, puts it to the wind, and guesses the next President.
It’s that simple.
But how can you really remain in touch?
I don’t depend on myself for being in touch.
At some point, I forgot that that was perhaps a valuable intuition.
Too often, people let the intuition of being in touch
Put them to ill use, they use it for evil, or worse, they don’t,
Hence, apathy and laziness.
I thought it was impossible to be awkward between us.
There’s nothing for us to admit, when you think about it.
There should be no shame between us, and yet there is this thing called shame.
Every part of you is a curling, burning star.