Victoria Chang’s most recent book is OBIT, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020. OBIT received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, the PEN Voelcker Award in Poetry, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Book Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize. Chang’s other poetry books are Barbie Chang, The Boss, Salvinia Molesta, and Circle. She lives in Los Angeles.
Here where the various Venuses gather
—you know the types: one kind
posing with a dolphin or a scallop shell,
another gyring to look at her behind,
another a more modest bather,
crossing her arms—a church bell
coincides with the approach of sirens,
pitting emergency against eternity;
We’re all fleetingly here, fleetingly young, and next year another crew of aspirants will replace us. And that when she’s still at it, a hundred years from now, we—and our books and our graves and our obscurity and our lives and our ten days of joy—will be part of the past those new writers think back on with wonder.