Evelyn Ho

All I Want for Christmas

Icicles are nothing more than diamond rings
that’ve forgotten they used to fit in velvet boxes
and so, stretch out
to gleam at hell instead. Lined from the roof,
spitting sunlight, they tinkle when they fall,
the smell of snow coming up to cloud your vision
and nip at your lashes.
The vapor whispers chloroform. The crystal shards
envelope you softly and numbness sings to you
a lullaby of melting ice and falling water.

In Dreamland, Nikita lives in Normandy, where
you mustn’t go. In Dreamland all you have to eat
are bitter melons. After a week, they are sweet.
Like candy taken from a child who stole it
from a street vendor whose many tall amber bottles
are “not for sale” and whose three-year-old
often goes to bed
on the couch
with no one to tuck in the sides of his quilt.

Glass
half empty.

Next Tuesday’s melons
won’t grow in Dreamland no more—l’appel du vide
est trop fort pour la résistance.
Their frilly, clandestine ribbons bow
and curtsy from meticulous braids before
and after every jump. The same way
we learned to escape from slaughterhouses on the backs
of phoenixes, red and gold and river quiet,
as children.

Ev didn’t want to come with us.

Now jackasses with knives make us plead the fifth
and bleed us dry and past yellow streetlamps
all I know is that I’m on the run—I’ve run
so far, I’ve never been gone.

I’ve never been
so far gone.

The faces of their sacrifice stain so many icicles
red and their hands lay them out in boxes
like candy for the devil.

Vive la Révolution.

 

Witching Hour Under My Dreamskin

Maybe the doors unlock after midnight
to let some awful dancer waltz in unannounced,
dressed in red and marked by the ugly

scars that cling to her jaw. Unread poems
hideously carved into bone and sinew shape the face

that graying closets, desperately hugging the walls,
barely manage to avoid. Their bulky weights,
of a misshapen beings donned in the ragged sweaters moths

make a meal of—as quick as biting into an apple
that shines after rubbing against rags—

are worn by the shoe-shine soldier with the apple core
tight in his teeth, munching away the musical saws
that serenade bullet wounds under his ribs.

The pain is easy to ignore now. An eternal musicale
gives us enough time to bite the dust and move on

to silver rushing out of my bloodstream, jolting the color
in my spine and lightly dusting flour on my hands. The faeries
weep at their broken amity and spilled secrets.

All poems ©2016 by the author. Used with permission.

About Evelyn Ho
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