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.
I’m a Gen Xer, the Generation that Didn’t; this is the crisis we were made for. We do what we can—we write cheerful letters, draw pictures for relatives, donate money, shop locally. It feels incredibly unimpressive.
This is the house where the boy was born, and where he played on the floor as a toddler while the Civil War began. The house was not where it is today, in a small park on the banks of the Wabash. It stood about a halfmile farther north, at 318 South Second Street in downtown Terre Haute, Indiana, a couple of blocks from the river, in a row of similar-looking structures that precisely one hundred years later were scheduled to undergo demolition.