Day 1: Flooded Modern City


Yesterday, I did not open the dragon boat race. Sat in my place though Harvest Moon still got a lot of men to eat. She’s a small evolved town, a wrath through whaling streets. Not my home ocean, not my water scoundrel. I’m a transplant of deniability, says words which arrive with the increase of multiculturalism. At doorstep despite unpassable roads, I’m a transplant. Honest.



Day 2: Vicinity


Day after sea block a pilgrimage, Nephew make oil barge markings. Others (people who must choose) go look at wooden yacht. If the family uncomfortable, might be trade success. Might not be a many-legged reflection. Not the pool of drowned wings surging to overtake sky.



Day 3: Southern Coasts


No one walks by who belongs to the house and its spring thaw except Nephew, a charity of the Southern coast. No one around means military street dance, megaphone church revival become summer summer resort. No limits, little harbor, go play. Mix thin paint on beach. Higher, still many tourists slap X on cliffs, spill purified water. No one looks home for cost of food. So poor, Night shuts out new and cruel sun, decides to close shop and eat lunch. We all raise hands when asking for forgiveness, but lucky sirens dance past gas station, yank power, scatter cake.



Day 4: New Port


Since I newly arrived in the Southern district of New Better, rain has not cleansed skin. Supposed to be early 20th Century American Millionaire Summer Resort, but those who have inherited a failure, cannot afford chronic. Nor can we avoid tacky transformation when sun go down. Little bodies rise from ground hungry for moisture, angry to be caught against wood. Don’t ask me why there is no door. Why the invitation includes an invisible curse. Why I only noticed now how no one returns to say hello. Hello.



Day 5: Monument


Despite swarms, clear blue nephew wanna go for a walk. First stop is well-known mound in war of independence near small hill. Step inside, a total of 297 large specimens. Similar style memorial built by very spectacular foreign scabs, closer but smaller, see dazzling monitors. It’s a hard-core colony now though early signs of sharp decline. A memorial still got a lot of men to eat.


Author’s Note: These poems are from a speculative poetic series, formerly FloodLand, a mash-up written in conversation with recent flooding in Houston and sourced partly from translated Facebook statuses written by my father.



About the Author

Ching-in is the author of The Heart’s Traffic and recombinant and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole, and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. They have also been awarded fellowships from Can Serrat, Millay Colony for the Arts, the Norman Mailer Center, and Imagining America. Their work has appeared in The Best American Experimental Writing, The &NOW Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. They are a senior editor of The Conversant. More at