Jasmine Puts Monkey In Perspective by Jasmine An

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy in

You survived on nothing
but verdigris and iron pills
for five hundred years.
You screwed your eyes
shut and fell through
a waterfall just to find out
what was on the other side.
You erased your name
from the book of the dead
and lived forty-nine days
in a furnace full of holy fire.
But, Sun Wukong, I will bet
you have never kissed
your girlfriend goodbye
in front of your grandma
then ridden home
in her SUV, listening
to the soundtrack
of a Chinese opera,
terrified and in love.

Jasmine An is a queer, third generation Chinese-American who comes from the Midwest. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and raised in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, she has lived in New York City and Chiang Mai, Thailand, studying poetry, urban development and blacksmithing. Her work features in multiple journals and in Uncommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning and Living. Currently she lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she writes poems to Sun Wukong, the Monkey King of Chinese mythology, and teaches creative writing workshops for previously incarcerated people at a local facility for probationers and parolees.