Yumi Dineen Shiroma is a PhD student in English at Rutgers University, where she studies the theory and history of the novel. Her poetry has previously appeared in BOMB Magazine and is forthcoming in Nat. Brut. She lives in New Jersey with Signora Neroni the cat.

1 poem

by Yumi Dineen Shiroma

Transitional Object

 

 

The hottest part of my body is its

 

refusal to take material form.

 

So many things could have gone wrong I’ve been

 

letting things go a little. Everyone

 

is someone’s idiot rando, I could

 

be yours. Organizing a fragmented

 

self around objects, the couple form. De-

 

nouncing as reactionary woman-

 

haters everyone around me. The way

 

she kept repeating the image of the

 

man with the gun in his mouth, not the things

 

themselves but the figures for the things, that

 

was the thing. The fantasy that I could

 

have my work and I could have *** and that

 

would be enough, it would add up to a

 

life. The retreat to domesticity

 

and care that I’ve wanted so badly. It

 

gave pleasure to believe in a future

 

radiating outward from the present.

 

The season demands the hanged man reversed

 

less mentally ill than I would have or-

 

dinarily been. I have enough rage

 

to carry me through another 5-

 

10 minutes. Then start to feel seasick, dead

 

in the pit of the gut. I feel ready

 

like something is happening / tell me what’s

 

happening. The silence that descends along

 

the renovated barn, peaked ceiling ex-

 

posed rafters globelike chandeliers. The bor-

 

derline condition the unequal con-

 

dition the peripheral condition

 

the highly scripted performance, how the

 

illusion becomes the illusion. How

 

the illusion takes on form and adds up

 

to a life and his cruelty emerges

 

at last as something utopian. Once-

 

electric hatred of self and other

 

channeled out. I can feel it building in

 

my chest like water, a feeling of sus-

 

pension. Like conditions on the brink of 

 

being altered, maybe there’s that charge in 

 

the air right now, an iron charge. But to-

 

night I feel a tenderness, a being 

 

in the world without denouncing the world 

 

the way I did last night. I feel ready

 

like something is happening / tell me what’s 

 

happening. She kept saying “sentences 

 

that commit suicide” sentences can’t 

 

commit suicide. Sickness. Dead sea of 

 

salt in the pit of the gut. I fanta-

 

size I leave the meeting halfway through. Some-

 

thing in the air a rain taste. Everyone 

 

watches my panic attack takes notes. I

 

write a novel depicting “the” “Asian” 

 

 “American” “experience.” I o-

 

pen my eyes, my mouth, the brackish water 

 

spills. I am his negative image, my 

 

hair, my inhibition, running in place 

 

watching New Jersey disappear behind

 

me.