In the bronze skin of your rain-mottled angel of immigration who looks forward with a faux diamond clasp of upward mobility on her watery clavicle, inner rain called mizzle is shining— a frayed chrome-polishing
Dear Millennium, Inadequate Witness
Say we no longer bear witness to a body-politic of trauma
by anesthesia or erasure. Say we cover our eyes
to crossed olive-wood beams on a hill. Modes of witness
expose our inadequacy, the human. Forgetting
is a sign—yes, a thing once existed. Say we are unworthy
of witness, internal or external—
our damaged wisdom, for instance,
our diminished capacity for empathy
and heightened apathy to torture
mingled with doves
of unfettered desire
or an eclipsed divine.
Karen An-hwei Lee
Karen An-hwei Lee is the author of three books, including Phyla of Joy (Tupelo, 2012), Ardor (Tupelo, 2008), and In Media Res (Sarabande, 2004), winner of the Norma Faber First Book Award.