38 Michigans by Eva H.D.



You are thirty-eight Michigans away from me,

thirty-eight wolverine states into your cups

in the sky, because being dead is like being

profoundly tanked, profound as an empty silo,

with your thoughts and your arms and your

credit cards ignoring you, just eyes, eyes, and behind

those eyes nothing, or the sky, or the smell of manure,

or thirty-eight Michigans of black, bloated ice.


One Michigan is bigger by far than a football field,

and two or ten is one of those I’m a man who needs

no woman type of motorcycle trips and fifteen is all the

old routes of tea or silk or spice or Trans-Siberian

misery rolled; but thirty-eight is the size of the space where Oh,

I need to call you, though laying hands upon

the phone I am repelled by a forcefield of practicality,

grasping at the incongruities of the calendar year and my

desire and your non-existence. Thirty-eight Michigans away

you are no doubt somewhere or other, balking at being,

polishing off a sandwich made of rare, impossible air.

You are as likely as the apocalypse. I can almost hear

you on my radio, the cracks in your voice of clay.


I summon up photos of our planet as seen from

invented places like e.g.the moon and it looks

like a Rubik’s cube. Peel off the stickers and

solve the black plastic beneath. Solve this blank

sheet of aluminium. Solve this anteater.


Yes, I recommend walking in the rain,

sluicing in the lake, howling at the shadow

of the moon behind the moon. Say Go long

before you throw long. Say Heads. Give the

dead more than their due. Yes, I recommend cutting

and running. Can you hear me, thirty-eight

Michigans down the line? Go long.





Biography: Eva bartends on Queen West in Toronto and has published two collections: Rotten Perfect Mouth and Shiner. Sometimes she gets to run off and cook on tallships or canoe in Temagami. She has also worked as a translator for Legal Aid, a nanny, a woefully subpar drywaller, a bicycle messenger and a cardboard-folder on an assembly line. She sometimes tells people that Keith Richards is her boyfriend, and they believe her, because they have never heard of the Rolling Stones. Some people have called her a tough read. Other people have called her a tarantula. In her spare time she transcribes the fictional conversations of pigeons and crabs and makes unsolicited translations of popular song lyrics. She will send haikus to your home by postcard. She often gets asked for directions, and would like to buy you a beer.

The body with an elegy inside of it by Lo Kwa Mei-en.



In time, we’ll lose another page’s worth
of what make the missive figs grow
fat as a love word rounding a lip and finite
as the body addressed. No matter

how hard. If your name has lodged
like a sickle beak in a fist-body of fruit,
what do I answer to. I’m awake and a vehicle,
though not readily. I know because

what’s inside me takes off. How light
will my bones get, down in the plot, and
what company will they learn to keep.
Where will you be. Look, how morning’s

strange birds freak and stain like a smashed cup.
It’s a mourner’s reversal, and the dark just
pours up. See what’s left to see in this hollow,
it says, naming itself, nodding, refusing

to sleep. Or release. Or come home.



Lo Kwa Mei-en is the author of Yearling (Alice James Books, 2015), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, and two chapbooks, The Romances (The Lettered Streets Press) and Two Tales (Bloom Books). She lives and works in Cincinnati.