Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Two Poems

Two Poems

By Judith Huang

the ride home

when she flexes her fingers
it is like a bag of marbles skittering,
spilling onto the floor…

it is a cold wind that the
air-con blows in,
I turn it towards the sky,
it fogs up the windscreen.

sleep is curtaining off
this more distant worry,
but it is vivid, the image
of the bits of her slowly,
slowly growing, bulbous cauliflowers,
turning against
her hand on the steering wheel.

and I almost cry out
because we are talking about
buying yakult and bread for tomorrow

even though my death, too,
was written into my bones
before I had seen life.

* * *

The Apocalypse Museum

We unearthed the Earth and found a dead museum,
stonestruck, the dead, as though catastrophe
had wiped them out, had claimed the hollow heads,
the bleeding eyes, now dried, paleoanthropic.
Some mated, hands to hearts and eye to eye,
eyes gazing up into the gravel sky.
Small units sat and stacked themselves in flats
around a table lost, without their necks.
Neck to neck the screaming shuttles came
the flaming wonder fossiled on their face.
In granite corridors we found the poor,
their lashes bit with frost. Soldiers swaddled
in warm uniforms. They paved the floor.

They had, it seems, first invented metal.
They wear it round their heads and round their arms
in shapes, and some embed it in their hearts.

In the museum we found the empty art.
The pillars held the posts of massacre.
Dust preserved the ancient manuscripts
and marble, a mausoleum for the heart.


Judith Huang

Judith Huang is a Singaporean writer, illustrator, translator, and editor whose poetry has been published in journals and anthologies at home and abroad. She received the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award (UK) in 2001, 2003, and 2004 and the Sydney M. Williams Grant for Visual Art (USA) in 2008. She graduated with honors from Harvard University in 2010, where she is a member of the Signet Society of Arts and Letters. “The Apocalypse Museum” was one of the winning poems of Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2004: And The Air Sang.

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