Summer 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 1 Poetry |

Flower in the Wind, 1963

The Kenyon Review · "Flower in the Wind" by Victoria Chang The flower in the wind can move only as much as the wind allows it to move. In this way, it is unmoored while moored. Have you ever been escorted by a man into a room? The way his hand pushes the door open, how he gently puts his hand on your back. And because your back is to him, the touch feels both like comfort and a sudden blade. When the coroner cuts me open, light will spill out onto the metal table, then onto the floor. The light will be discolored by the ambition of men. At the very back of a woman’s body is a large shield. We were meant to use it daily, but sometimes the pull of the men was too much. This is why the shield can be passed on. None of us use it the way it was meant to be used. It’s hard to know what men want from us but a chance to strike their sword on a shield made of light. And when the woman finally gives him some light, he can pull the dripping sword out of her back. So many people woul

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Victoria Chang’s forthcoming book of poems, With My Back to the World, will be published in 2024 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her latest book of poetry is The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press, 2022) and her nonfiction book, Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions), was published in 2021. OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry.

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Wheat, 1957

By Victoria Chang

The Kenyon Review · "Flower in the Wind" by Victoria Chang The flower in the wind can move only as much as the wind allows it to move. In this […]

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