Timothy Liu

Manifest Destiny

Clouds of razor wire hovering over brick.

Mammograms on boxes lit from within.

With winter in one world and spring next door.

Begin again where clients mill about.

Old scars cradled in their own geography.

Even a mother’s care cannot annul.

Nor the shape of that runaway shopping cart.


Who Puts Us Out to Pasture

Outgoing message on his machine buoyant and detached.

Her boudoir all afringe with ghostly equipage.

Whorish silks hung on a rack of bone.

Lintels crowned with forget-me-nots down the paradise stairs.

Spindled c-notes kicking up at the devil’s heels.

Knocked about the cab’s backseat with ribcage all akilter.

Betrayed again by the stop-gap romance.

Wasted hours of anonymous chat.

Footprints left in the entry hall mottled with winter’s salt.



Dirt caked on a shovel
where a garden had been.

Some iris bulbs buried
under a blanket of pine.

That curtain of cloud
suddenly drawn aside–

then closing back again.



Timothy Liu is the author of four books of poems, most recently Hard Evidence (Talisman House, 2001). He lives in Hoboken, NJ.