Two Poems (A Debt, What Is Modern)

By Victoria ChangMarch 27, 2021

Two Poems (A Debt, What Is Modern)





A Debt

The bank is empty.
A cluster of birds live there.
The birds are all gold,
but they can fly like dollars.
They are lawless birds
glorified by all our poems.
If you look closely
at the ones in the corner,
some of them have human lips.


What Is Modern

Mass graves are modern.
I caught up with the future,
the metal trees are silent
as they wait for us.
The future isn’t modern.
It worries it won’t arrive.


Victoria Chang’s poetry books include OBIT, Barbie ChangThe BossSalvinia Molesta, and Circle. Her children’s books include Is Mommy?, illustrated by Marla Frazee, and Love, Love, a middle grade novel. She lives in Los Angeles and serves as the program chair of Antioch’s low-residency MFA program.

LARB Contributor

Victoria Chang is the author of OBIT, which received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN Voelcker Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Her latest book is The Trees Witness Everything (2022). She is the incoming Bourne Chair in Poetry at Georgia Tech.


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