Long Johns

Bad ocean. Pretty breakfast. I am away
in a town where all the men are required
to wear long johns. Pretty bulges. Bad
attitudes. It could be worse. It could be
dire. I would just like to eat my fancy
bacon in peace. To be alone with my levity
& delusion that by writing of imaginary
travels, the food & foreign men, I can go
beyond myself. Oh stiff unbudging life.
How many fresh starts now have turned out
false starts? How many dead-ends have I
walked into, am walking in, samsara-stuck
& stupid, god, good people, can you tell me
how to stop, how to give up, forgive?

Chen Chen is a University Fellow in the MFA program at Syracuse University. His poems have appeared/are forthcoming in PANK, Anti-, NightBlock, Potluck Magazine, Ghost Proposal, among other journals. He has received fellowships from Kundiman, Tent: Creative Writing, and the Saltonstall Foundation. He serves as Poetry Editor of Salt Hill.