Demon/Hyena: It’s Only Fiction

The children talk books

and character and plot and movies

the female is old

you say

the female is fat

you say

the female is not pretty enough

you say

And the boys talk over you

but the girl looks at you like—

looks at you like—


what’s the word?

what’s that word?


It’s true

you don’t move

your mind she thinks

she’s better

than you better

than you because

she knows English


when they were little they were sweet

but you have seen the girl leap

carelessly onto the counter and boy faces


with contempt


Demon Describes the Hyena: Cleanliness

Dishes are your life

rinsing and rinsing and rinsing

when your husband says you don’t

move your mind

much snap you’re the one

with the senile mother my

parents are better than yours

in every way I should

never have married

a Christian psychopath

the problem with you is

you hate

Chinese people


he looks so young somehow

slender black-haired still

he is mistaken for your son


Your son

does the dishes

your daughter

does laundry

you tell the filthy demons

never to touch Anything. Ever. Again.

Demon Describes the Hyena: Diet

A daughter

is a rival

who beats you at birth

you know her father loves

her more he’s nothing like your

father when you say Get Out

the man Gets Out



The children flinch when you approach

so you give them food

sweetly you say

your father has a parasite

in his gut that’s why he eats

and shits so much he should sew

his asshole shut


Television is your

closest companion

you want to be young

it says

you want to be thin

it says

you want to be desirable

it says

young sluts and old sluts

dance across your screen

devouring man

after man

after man


you’re not your sister

with her jewels and hair dye when your father

lost his teeth composure memory he

asked for her

New Jerusalem, Population: Strawberries

Wondering why the fifth grader knocked people over like saying hello, our gentlest observed: It’s snowing.  We’re in coats, he’s not.  Look at his hands.  He pounds the wall.

You understand, he chided, about discipline—and wire hangers.

(It is a mother coveting other people’s cars.  It is a father rich in spring flowers).

Michael—I wish we had found your earring, but in those days of revelation, playground sand glittered—semiprecious stones in the City of God.

I was born on a makeshift football field, running—between the tearing of cloth and you, three chattering hellraisers upon you, pulling unstoppably forward.