Issue 8 / Poetry

Poetry by E Yeon Chang

Mother, the other night I had a fever and I could not find my Tylenol

I assume everything wrong with me

is related to the womb so I swallowed

a week’s worth of birth control


and dreamt about my overdose

When I first asked about a prescription

you said I was a murderer and I


confessed I expect the worst of men

I never told you about the weekend

I wore a black shirt and velvet leggings


I saw no blood the last Sunday

of October and I fell down a flight of

stairs on my way to church



On October 15th, a boy got me drunk and ever since,

I can’t sleep with the TV on and I am never sober on Thursdays. I am admitting all my faults now because I don’t want you to think I tricked you. I am trying to be honest when I say that the only good things that come out of my mouth are these lies I call poetry. I have no doubt I will ruin you. I want you to love me despite this. I want you to love me because of this.

When the world ends, I’d like to be listening to Chance with nothing but my socks on. I hope you think this is an adequate response to an apocalypse. If my time comes before then, I’d still like to be stripped bare, for my cremation. I want to be scattered in the Han River because I know I’ll never be brave enough to skinny dip on my own.


You might not believe this but I am trying to get you to fall in love with me. Get you to love me so that when I inevitably forget about Korea, you will know to trace my origami boat tattoo with your tongue and remind me how it sunk. Love me so that when the birds come to feast upon me and everything I’ve touched, you will come to lie amongst it all.

I am trying to get you to fall in love with me so that this all makes sense.


You know that part of Where the Wild Things Are, when the Wild Things ask Max not to go? In this case, you are Max and I am wild, except not quite. I am tired of saying I’ll eat you up, I love you so. No, I want to kiss you and burn a building. Get high and lick the frosting off of red velvet cupcakes. I want to do all this tonight and again tomorrow. But I don’t want to have to ask in order to make you stay.

In the movies, the good boys are always drawn to the broken girls, and they are played by beautiful women. I’m letting you know that I’m bruised. I want you to think I’m beautiful.



E Yeon Chang is a sophomore at New York University from Seoul, Korea. She has attended workshops at the University of Virginia, Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English, Kenyon College and University of Iowa. The National YoungArts Foundation named E Yeon a 2015 Finalist in Writing and ultimately a Semi-Finalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She is a 2016 recipient of the Tory Dent Research Scholarship in Creative Writing. E Yeon wastes poems on Facebook captions and is sad that she’s now too old for James Franco to hit on. Selected by Kamden Hilliard.

Image copyright Gabriel Garcia Marengo via flickr creative commons.