• A Midwife is Forbidden from Entering the Temple

    Noel Yu-Jen

    Summer 2023

    Kaohsiung, 1945
    after Paul Tran

    If there is too much blood on my hands
           just say it.

    If you hate my touching
           what cannot be touched
    could only permit me to touch
           not you not even war
    could open the thighs
           I have opened the wet edens
    I have unearthed then sewed
           up back in my house
    I catch beasts I marry
           oil with water I clean my garden
    gather mouthfuls of babies
           to wash in the river of the disappeared
    & unanointed where your ladies tell me
           stay back I stay

    Noel Yu-Jen earned her B.A. in Spanish & Portuguese from Princeton University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in West Branch, ghost city review, and diode poetry. She lives & writes in Brooklyn.

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