Christine Kwon

Girls on Bikes

The poor girls I know

Talk to me about

Their bicycle being stolen

Not being able to bike to meet me somewhere

The difficulties of biking

The men that holler at them as they’re biking

The bush they biked into

But they do not tell me

About their baby

The girls on their bikes are beautiful

Not that there is no baby

The girls I know

Are women

And where there are women

There is a baby

Hiding somewhere

Glancing at my friend as she leans over

Her notebook

I see the mommy

And turn away, embarrassed

I woke up from a nap once

Crying mommy, mommy

My husband was there

And he thought it was cute

But he was not my mommy

The linoleum floor that must be ripped up

Is mommy

The whitish spots on the

Bathroom mirror

Are freckles on her face

Sometimes my mommy turns black

But she cannot

Be amputated

I’m a mommy

in the mirror

and I have the blues

I woke up

With blues fluttering

And a little bewildered

To be in a cage

The cats followed me from room to room

Crying mommy mommy mommy

And still tearing off my body

And chucking them pieces

I got used to the shock

Of not being a cat

Yesterday and the day before yesterday

Was another yesterday

That rode past

Like a baby on a bike

Waving hello

There never having been a baby

Is a baby

Crying in its cradle

In the corner of the room

Do we not have babies

Because we have


There just seems to be this weird breed

Of beautiful women


Their baskets filled with flowers and books

Sipping our ice coffees

Like furious bees

We talk about nothing

Except whether

Or not

To bike


If I had wanted beauty

I would have become a nun

Scaled it way back

Bent down to steal a flower

Pressed a kiss on a child’s cheek

Arranged three or four personal items in the room

I would have chosen so carefully

I would have owned the most beautiful cross

I would have been a bad nun

Looking out the window

At the courtyard

The other sisters mewling

What a dreamer what a temper too

Streaming across the piazza

Face a sunflower

Getting married to it

And when I do speak

People listening

As if I were not of this world

Your voice crushed against my ear

Touching the warmed glass of the iphone

Make you wonder

Christine Kwon frolics around New Orleans. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Joyland Magazine, The Yale Review, and The Recluse. Other work is forthcoming in blush lit, Recliner Mag, The Columbia Review, Apocalypse Confidential and elsewhere. You can follow her on insta @theschooloflonging for poems that don’t live to adulthood and photos of her cats.