about the author

Ting Gou lives and writes in Ann Arbor, where she is a student at the University of Michigan Medical School. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart three times and appear in the Bellevue Literary Review, Best of the Net 2014, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, r.kv.ry., and elsewhere.

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Ting Gou

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You can spend a whole evening
pulling apart raspberries.
Like a child’s toy, they fall apart,
piece by piece into a flattened map.
You can build an entire city
with only raspberries for the domes
of cathedrals. Look through them,
the way they bend light
is not the way a prism bends light.
Imagine what an insect would see
being under that flaming roof.
A whole world made for it,
and a diffuse warmth from outside.

Pull apart a raspberry and cities
form at your fingertips, bright cities,
red cities, pomegranate-like cities
the color of raspberries.
Drop a drupelet on the table.
Another city.
Hold the edge and turn it inside out
like a hat. Call it by its second name,
which is not your name. Empty hive.
Little uterus. Muscle memory.

You can spend a whole evening
pulling apart raspberries
and expecting something
to be different.
That is why it is perfect.
Each time, the same red enigma.
You could pack
your entire childhood into it
and occasionally set it on fire.

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