For every dead king there stands another
and a child to tell how rooms grow small: the first spider
remakes the same emptiness: the slow wait
as flooding dissolves before anyone
can save the strawberry finch in all this
ash: a sigh in oaks: April where all goodness shows:
your mother in the tears of La Llorona: you
come to let me know you don't believe in
thieves: wraiths revolving around the loon's cry:
I cry harder into the dream that lingers: for the dead
you determine: cancer: what are you after:
hand-holding is for fear: no water runs through here:
take cover: heat the stove for warmth: first days
like Vietnam: palms made of chalk: you spare me
then blow away: saying this is the way: wash up

Khaty Xiong is from Fresno, CA. She received her MFA in Poetry from the University of Montana, where she was also the 2013 recipient of the Merriam-Frontier Award for her poetry chapbook Elegies. Her work has appeared in How Do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology, Kartika Review, Lantern Review, Alice Blue Review, and other publications. Currently, she resides in Dublin, OH.