Emily Dickinson Takes a Semester Online

Qiang Meng


And for five months, she has been stapled
to her parents’ house, wearing a star pendant
made of the best-looking leaf
she plucks from her bathroom plant.

To start a day, she downloads a sun,
refreshes the sky, and pastes a shortcut to the night.
The wall mirror replays her routine
of switching on a kettle while brushing her teeth.

She forgets how to match men’s love letters
with their eyebrows but remembers
a teacup’s permanent stain
more clearly than the mole on her nape.

She attends to nothing one says to many,
though cupping her right hand around
the computer mouse once made her blush
—it nestled like her own perky breast.

A Chinese knot is hung on her wardrobe’s knob
in case this young lady becomes too obsessed
with patience. Her white cat sleeps beneath
like a laundry powder dune.

When her left ear picks up a thunderclap,
the other emits beams of rainbows.
To dramatize another pickled midnight,
she misses the final-essay due time deliberately.




Qiang Meng is from China and currently lives in Atlanta, GA. His poems have appeared in Wingless Dreamer, Penultimate Peanut, Poetry City, Santa Ana River Review, and Roadrunner Review, among others.