Happiness

A Poem by Janelle Tan: ‘Chrystie Street’

for christina yuna lee

i am patient
as the mace in my hand.

on my way to some party
at which i will burst into brilliant laughter

while a friend poses in my fur,
rain stabs the roofs,

every step around me the sound
of daggers.

the small god on my wrist clacks
against the wine bottle under my arm—

last year, when we bought mace en masse,
i made an altar of my grandmother.

tonight, chrystie street is dripping
in the same prayer.

the rain urgent. an ambulance
a cry.  

when i visit my grandmother,  
my mother prays—

go wherever janelle goes—
follow her everywhere
.  

don’t we all come  
from somewhere?  

christina had a god too. and god—
god—wherever you are,  

let me say it plain:
i don’t want to die.  

the knife was yellow.
god, you were right outside

smoking.

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