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In Every Psyche, Tiny or Dramatic Perforations—
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

This one is a memory or a wounding. Leave memory
in the dark, and the cutouts are less visible—

Like Kara Walker’s images of men and women,
grotesque in rape scenes, their silhouettes

laser-cut into black metal figurines.
My father’s psyche is shot through, shrapnel

still lodged in his scalp. I watched him work
at the lathe, at the mill. His fingers pressed against

the blueprints. He does the math and punches numbers
into the machine. It shaves the metal rod down

to its essential shape, military grade parts
of Boeing jets, and sometimes, I think, warplanes.

Yesterday, he plucked oranges
and washed them clean under the tap.

He hasn’t carried a gun in over 35 years,
not since leaving that country—

where he fought, an unwilling soldier,
for over twelve years.

I inspect his motions carefully.
The shadow he casts at dusk

is long and black,
and when he enters the house,

it dissipates like smoke.

Cathy Linh Che  

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James, 2014), the winner of the 2012 Kundiman Poetry Prize. She received her MFA from New York University and is the recipient of fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Hedgebrook, and Poets House.

Copyright © 2013 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Cathy Linh Che. "In Every Psyche, Tiny or Dramatic Perforations—." Cream City Review 37.2 (2013): 25-25. Project MUSE. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Che, C. L.(2013). In Every Psyche, Tiny or Dramatic Perforations—. Cream City Review 37(2), 25. Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Retrieved January 20, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Cathy Linh Che. "In Every Psyche, Tiny or Dramatic Perforations—." Cream City Review 37, no. 2 (2013): 25-25. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed January 20, 2014).
T1 - In Every Psyche, Tiny or Dramatic Perforations—
A1 - Cathy Linh Che
JF - Cream City Review
VL - 37
IS - 2
SP - 25
EP - 25
PY - 2013
PB - Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
SN - 2166-014x
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/cream_city_review/v037/37.2.che.html
N1 - Volume 37, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2013-2014
ER -


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