An excerpt from The Rumpus Poetry Book Club‘s September selection,
Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced An Emergency by Chen Chen
forthcoming from BOA Editions on September 13, 2022
Subscribe by August 15 to the Book Club to receive this title and an invitation to an exclusive conversation with the author via Crowdcast
A Favorite Room
Down the sideways face, through the dilapidated waterfall,
we entered late afternoon’s house
& a favorite room: the room of the butterfly skeleton.
Intricate, delicate, somehow not an ounce of tragic.
So beautiful we thought we could have perfect
unswollen gums, be less predictable
gay men, obsessed with our mothers.
It whispered: the new year will bring more coffee flavors,
& sodas, overall more beverage-related upheavals.
It advised us never to buy anything
fresh again, & thus we could be just like it—
Never misspelling a state capital.
Never missing a coworker’s birthday.
Always just pretending to be dead.
“A Favorite Room” from the poetry collection Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency, copyright 2022 by Chen Chen, BOA Editions, Ltd. Excerpted with permission from the author and publisher. This poem was first published in Wildness.