Kristin Chang: #NotTrump Series

Kristin Chang: #NotTrump Series

To the white man on a street corner in NYC who yelled at me to “Go back where you came from” and “Stop stealing our country” as I was walking home from a Trump protest:

you may be the last of all creatures
to enter this kingdom

but my shape is prehistoric, my shape
lacks all creation, I am a church

to no god & you are a slaughterhouse
& I will stun you & hang you feet-up

I will pinch out your mouth
like a candle-flame while mine

wicks the horizon, wipes
every body off its bones. I am

waist-deep in ghosts, take a
headcount. Call me a creature to bridle

or bury. Tell me to knock
a door into my mother’s body

& crawl back in, to kiss you
a crater the size of my birth

country, but don’t ever
mistake absence for loss

I am not lost. My name
in your mouth is still

mine. Say stolen & the land
looses like a molar & grinds

you into its shape, say stolen & your
body collapses like a dying star, mass

cannibalizing its own gravity, have you
ever seen your own mouth’s mass

grave? Morning is when
I rip my shadow a birth-hole

for the sun to blur through, this
morning my shadow abstained

from flesh, walked away still
clipped into my skin, bought a

business-casual wardrobe, dressed
out of my mother’s accent & now

you mistake her for me, grease
-flicker between your teeth & her

shadow-body clung to your tongue
like an oil spill, I want to feed you

every disaster is man-made, according
to the movies. I thank Hollywood for movies

made with a mask of my face, movies
where I click my lips, keep the beat of

bullets tunneling light through
my father’s lungs, girls onscreen

pray for eyes so blue
they can sea every man &

drown him, are you so afraid of my eyes
because they are lightless, slits

that steal every dark for themselves,
that condense all light into knives?

I reverse-engineered your body
& found nothing but a burnt

-down fuse. Don’t pretend
you didn’t build this country’s

bombs the way you built
yourself in your mother’s

body. In my mother’s country,
all guavas grow grenade pins

& all women learn that bleeding
is honest work. I have always known

the fact of you, a violence. The whole
of your skin, a geology of ghosts. Tell me

to go back to where I come from
& I will show you my mouth, its feast

of ashes. I will show you a wound
is only as deep as its entry:

you, the last creature to enter
this kingdom, come to steal

the site of your own slaughter.


Dear America: let me keep my father

America, hoist my skirt like a flag. America, 
my father is illegally employed

right now & I want you to rate his
deportability on a scale from 1

to gone. I want you to rate my
fuckability on a scale from 1

to war bride. America, sue my wounds
for being superficial. America,

write to me by the bright of bare
bones. You can ghost the witness

and phantom the girl, but a body like this

lives past every place you tell it to die

A body like this remembers
the wound from which it grew.

There has never been a bullet
that remembers the bone. There

has never been lightning
that remembers the body

through which it grounds. America,
love me. Love me like a crime

that loves its evidence, America
you were born a murder with no body. 

America, you were born a bloody stillborn, 
but we still kept the instructions you came

with. You still kiss the mouth

that smokes like a gun. America, you kiss

like transcribing a bullethole. America,
this morning, my body was still

the shape of my body. This morning, two
white women on the Discovery channel proved

that all bodies fall at the same speed
in a vacuum. I wanted to fell them,

saw them from the screen with a steak knife,
but I am too busy teaching myself

to speak with no mouth, I am too busy
begging my skin to hold a new body, 

America, please name me
before I am gone.

America, give me today to understand
how much there is to fear

Give me today.


texts from my mother, post-election

stop complain
in arkansas I the only chinese in whole school
except one girl she call esther chew esther
chew dont speak even chinese


in china chicken that look like donald trump
i will send you link
actually may be pheasant not chicken
in china no word between pheasant and chicken


your uncle illegal and have miss demeanor
he drive to fast he drink to much
pls stay away from him and microwaves
give you radiation and may die


meimei I see on the news everyday
minorities everywhere are more harassment
everywhere attached
sorry attacked,not attached


hello meimei I have the dream
last night all the family ghost
went to see movie and laugh
at all the death scene


!! some girls in china are becoming ghost
pls check,go to local war exhibit
if it feel like it belong in your body you
maybe ghost


you know how america zoo have baby panda
did you know all baby panda are china property
all panda baby turn 4 must go home
Pls call me.

Kristin Chang is from California. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Margins (Asian American Writers Workshop), Nailed Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Souvenir Lit, and elsewhere. She is currently on staff at Winter Tangerine and can be found at