Today is the boss

Today is the boss the boss is today this day shines

                       her white teeth the day is the boss
            the boss gives us tokens today to take a bus
                                    to a restaurant to bus her table she
breaks our plates our dirty plates break when thrown
                       I sit cross-legged on the floor to do pilates to
            plot with my colleagues to glue the plates together again
                                    up in the sky a bird keeps flying in
the shape of a cross the shadow of my body is a cross
                       it never leaves me it never helps me only at night
            on my back we come together briefly the next day the boss
                                    takes a bus and drives over us over our
plates again and again the boss pretends to glue us after
                        she breaks us we try to glue ourselves
            Elmer’s allows us to emerge as a different person I have
                                    a piece of someone else’s saucer as my heart

This poem is from Victoria Chang’s third book of poems, The Boss, recently published by McSweeney’s as part of the McSweeney’s Poetry Series. Her second book, Salvinia Molesta, was University of Georgia Press in 2008 and her first book, Circle, was published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2005. She also edited an anthology, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, published by the University of Illinois Press in 2004. Her poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, POETRY, Believer, New England Review, VQR, The Nation, The New Republic, The Washington Post, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. She lives in Southern California with her family and works in business.
*Photo courtesy of Chris Goldberg.
Explore Related Content