two poems

by Amy Gong Liu

What I Want

Lies somewhere between a pile of dairy cows in South Dakota who regard each other as nothing and the underwear drawer of a middle-aged Iowan, juggling dual addictions to Wellbutrin and lollipops.

Is a meniscus of sorts. Or a wedding photo of two friends. Or a story in the newspaper about some sort of local baseball prodigy’s career ending injury.

Relies on community funds. Says prayers like clockwork. Eats five servings of vegetables. Operates on its own liver.

Puts savings with other savings.


After all, there are monks now where there used to only be men.




My lips hurt.


Nothing else.

The sun is morphine-adjacent.

It’s my fifteenth run.

My mother would understand.

It’s called: sitting the day out in anticipation.

Someone dangles off of the building.

Shouting is not allowed.

Too bad I’ve already saved my life before.

Everything at the shop is too expensive.

Rice and beans again, I guess.

This life is about dignity.

This life is about upkeep.

This life is about decoration.

Amy Gong Liu is a Chinese-American writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has been featured in Poetry Northwest, The Rupture, The Rumpus, RHINO Poetry, and more. She thinks too much (or perhaps too little).


Photography by: Britta Preusse