Hahn: Two Poems : Magazine : A Public Space

Hahn: Two Poems

Poetry Kimiko Hahn

I am not gigantic and I don’t keep my head down—like / the now-extinct elephant bird.

I am not gigantic            and I don’t keep my head down—like
                               the now-extinct                  elephant bird. And          if
I had wings, they’d be more

                                           than miniscule      shriveled          arms.
Nor am I related to the kiwi bird (oh, so cutey-cute!)
                                                           And I’m fairly certain
that no scientist will ever bother with clues on my demise
                                               (hint: criticism as form of abandonment—) or

              whether I originated
on the single       giant southern continent
known as            Gondwanaland
                                           (a whole other story having to do with plates).


Like the dwindling monarch home                         which is virtually gone

            I wonder about gone           and if I moved would the move
                                           make a home
or will home                    since      never safe                   only feel safe
as blank humming
                                                                         no asking, correcting, wheedling.
             Yes, like the milkweed that farmers kill off                 that once

grew between rows of corn and soybeans
                                           how can we know when      the dwindling is gone?
No. 22

No. 22


​Kimiko Hahn’s most recent books are Brain Fever and Toxic Flora (both W. W. Norton). She teaches in the MFA Program for Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College.


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