Today's poem is by Lo Kwa Mei-en

Rara Avis Decoy
        You take a piece of wood and cut out everything that
        doesn't look like a duck.
                —Currituck Sound carver

Call me darling on the surface.
Call me honey of the sound

all my fathers make as they enter
the skin of the lake. My name is hooded

diver on a string, little Red Head bastard.
Without a sound I call my mothers down to eat.

They beat, beat, slant to water & stitch
feet to the reflection of feet. I'm a favorite

child of the gouge & the knife, the human
hand that makes a collar about the ruby

neck of my father. He & my other fathers
drove down through shallows like drill bits

& they came up silver. My name is the spoils
of thin flesh, the minnow's salt eye

plucked clean for a mother. Call me game
over. Wild diamond rocking on the floor

of a predatory boat. Point & say sweet traitor
to the wood & water for wanting to be made

of both. My name is I know not what I am
as a country of mothers & fathers comes down.

They call me sleeping beauty. I dream I am
in flight, body unfolding, folding, a bullet

wounding water again & again—the mysterious
love of a father & mother a two-barreled

gaze. The gun in my dream speaks my name
& sees a beating vein. Takes aim—

Copyright © 2012 Lo Kwa Mei-en All rights reserved
from The Cincinnati Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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