a poem by Arlene Ang

Uncle Pete choked
on segments of neck bone.
It was chicken.
We had a lot of that
back then.
I remember the knife.
I remember the blood drip.
I remember my collective name
for burnt feathers: Cinderella.
Cat's pajamas,
I thought,
while Mother hyperventilated
behind her hands,
while the dog wagged
its tail over
Uncle Pete's face,
while his fingers smeared
his neck
with grease.
Yes, cat's pajamas.
How he turned cathedral
blue on the checked
linoleum. And
I remember all the farm girls.
I remember where I tasted them.
I remember my uncle
winking minutes before
he fell over:
The neck's the best part, my boy.


Arlene Ang lives in Spinea, Italy. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in alice blue, Anemone Sidecar, Caffeine Destiny, DMQ Review and Staple Magazine. She received the 2006 Frogmore Poetry Prize (UK) and serves as a poetry editor for The Pedestal Magazine and Press 1. More of her work may be viewed at http://www.leafscape.org/.