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7.23.2012

angry poetry corner: "I want to take you home with me tonight" by audrey kuo

We're getting poetic up here. It's time for another installment of Angry Poetry Corner, a regular weekly spotlight on the work of API poets -- not necessarily angry -- curated by Cara, our Angry Asian Intern. Because you could use a little more poetry in your life.

In the corner this week, a poem by Audrey Kuo:
I want to take you home with me tonight

I want to take you home with me tonight
- but not, not in the way you think.

I just want to show you how the stars look from my backyard,
and ask you if you trace the same patterns when you're staring out your window.

I want to show you my bedroom
- 'cause that's where I keep the bookshelf with the books I don't let people borrow.
But you? You I would let flip through the pages.
But just a few.
'Cause I still - I still don't really know you.

I want to get to know you.

Like, do you have a "for reference only" section in your library, too?
Do you lend your books to strangers?
What about your smile?

And what do you do when the lights go off?
Do you close your eyes, or do you stare up at the ceiling?
Did someone tell you bedtime stories?
Do you tell them to yourself?
How many pillows do you use?

And do you count sheep at night,
Or do you think that's just the Serta mattress people trying to pull the wool over our eyes?
'Cause I, I have trouble falling asleep sometimes,
So I want to know.

I want to know what you think about at 3 a.m.
I want to be next to you when the second siren goes by;
I want to see what you do.
Do you fold your hands in prayer like mine, and send that prayer to the moon?
And do you think the moon listens?
Do you make wishes on eyelashes?
Do you still believe in hope?
Do you cry?

Will you paint me the pattern of your thoughts?
Can I close my eyes and listen to your heartbeat?
'Cause I think it sounds familiar, but I wanted to make sure.

I want to turn the lights off in my mind
and follow the nightlight into your dreams.
And when I open my eyes at daybreak, I hope you'll still be there.

I want to wake up with you tomorrow,
but it doesn't mean I need to sleep with you tonight.
Audrey Kuo is a queer second-generation Taiwanese-American poet. By day, she works in nonprofit development. By evening, she stage manages for Tuesday Night Cafe, writes things, fiddles in the kitchen, and blogs sporadically.