invite the blue
invite the hunger(s) the shy undecided plural
hiding in parentheses invite your best friend’s
vestigial tail what resists evolution
into meaning invite the envelope back
after the invitation has been sent blue envelope
blue licks invite them to hear
the blue whale’s worst anecdote
invite the gauche the shy ghost
invite Marge Simpson’s hair its blue
& height invite unsendable envelope unanswerable
letter some guttural blue opening(s)
longing to be legible the shy undecidable
who nonetheless would like an invite invite urgh
& sequitur non & eeek to your latest emergency
memoir of the present moment
it’s the middle of—the week? the street? the sentence,
please i need to borrow your basket because?
i’m looking for something. so ticklish with sound,
eerie with truth. like really good dance music.
like i’m in the middle of—a forest? a pancake? a pancake
burning in a forest while the forest remains calm?
perhaps i’m simply craving breakfast foods.
or what’s burning is me, the most oily of pronouns,
the life crisis that is not yet mid-, is always mid-,
is living. i’m the mid- of a foggy dialect,
garbled district. a primeval game
of telephone. i’m a muddle
trying to dial the cosmos. to sing out
another dizzying bit—of this.
Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and forthcoming spring 2017 from BOA Editions, Ltd. His work has previously appeared in two chapbooks and publications such as Poetry, Drunken Boat, Best of the Net, and The Best American Poetry. He is a PhD candidate in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University.