Dispatches: Stella Wong

By STELLA WONG

A flock of pigeons soar into a clear blue sky. An ornate white building is in the background, topped by red domes.

 

Spooks (Pidgin)

Iowa City

                         Re: M Moore

This is the mess.
This is the age we wrought.

This is the mess-age
and it’s taken

ages to get
to you, through all these

waves, on
the field, oversea

(and don’t shoot the messenger)
but I will leave it here for you to read

next time.

 

 

Spooks (anything else would be off-brand)

New York City

 

If you have to read this out loud,
you can never take drug tests, hush money, or go

to church. I’m just an electric red honeymoon
away from honeypot boss. From the top,

Naval Intelligence likes writing oaths
to the wedding band’s frontman

while tactically bombing
her latest marriage hard enough

to get through a military withdrawal.
Boy does the FSB dream of throwing a Molotov

cocktail hour, like Jesus. It’s not my fault I’m hooked
on cabinets. But enough ministering. We go way back

to the CIA when there’s not enough god in the water
to stop the gubernatorial headbangers. I’ll roll up

to the final showdown with my chrome valentine DARPA,
who’s worried that Space Force will put her on

the blacklist for being old-school. 
Everyone else is worried

the NSC will put heads on pikes, strictly
for a counterfeit pillbox hat collection.

You gotta hand it to me,
as a free agent sleeping

with MI6’s in-demand sibling, I’ve set off
an international manhunt. Interpol, you won’t call it off, would you?

 

Stella Wong is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Harvard. Wong’s poems have appeared in POETRY, Colorado Review, Lana Turner, Bennington Review, and the LA Review of Books. She is the author of AMERICAN ZERO, winner of the 2018 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize selected by Danez Smith, and SPOOKS, winner of the 2020 Saturnalia Books Editors Prize.

Photos by Pixels users Keith Lobo and Fidel Hajj.

Dispatches: Stella Wong

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