Three Poems by Radian Hong

A Flat Tire

You contemplate
the car
sitting back on its round rubber haunches
as if it were some lame
exotic animal,
the last of its convertible kind.
Pity in your eyes,
you bite your round rubber lip
and put your ear to the
warm tire
like a stethoscope
to listen for
the telltale hiss.
You hope only
to diagnose
the cancer whose presence
you can already sense.
The sun is hot
on your plastic neck.
Giving up, you lean against
the car door
and fan yourself.
You look up and down
the flat,
and wait
for someone
to look at you
with pity in their eyes
and bear you away
on an ark
of rubber and plastic.

Flash Flood

The sky cracks open like an egg,
and you throw your head back
and open your mouth wide
to catch the golden yolk
dribbling between fragments of white shell.
You cut your tongue on a sharp shard
as you bite down. Crunch.
The yolk—raw, runny, full of vigor,
and maybe salmonella—
gushes through the fissures
in your lips. I envy the desert.
Wish I’d ordered the same.
Breathing the pavement,
I await the sound of thunder
as one might a dinner bell.

Even After We Lose Power

a shadow of music
plays on in the ear.
In the treble,
the buzz of the
pantry lights
like that of a fly
making loops
about our heads.
In the bass,
that dull hum of the
we’ve come to know
as silence.
Just as
it takes time
for the eye
to adjust to the dark,
it also takes time
for the ear to accept
this new silence—
shrill silence.
To quit packing
with hallucinations,
and to pick out the source
of a noise
which is,
for once,

Radian Hong is a young writer from California. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Healing Muse, San Pedro River Review, and other journals and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.