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  • The Boater
  • Victoria Chang (bio)

We slip into a boat parking space. An older man in a boat comes into the next spot.

His boat chafing ours sounds like a heart rubbing against ribs trying to get out.

His look makes me his personal watercraft. I become his vessel named Rebel and we walk side by side on the pier.

He reduces me until nothing remains but desire, the mooring buoy kind, the kind that lingers too long like a dinghy.

We talk, not the brunch kind, but the bare-handed ice fishing kind.

I am wearing stilettos so I can be ready to stab a man’s heart like a tack. To see if he can bleed.

I want to be the engine that consumes, that drives the propeller, not the propeller that soaks in water, waiting for something power plant, something high speed.

The problem is, if you cut out a heart and give it away, the paper you’re left with has a hole in it. [End Page 4]

Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang’s second book of poems, Salvinia Molesta (2008), was published by University of Georgia Press. Her first book, Circle (2005), was published by Southern Illinois University Press. Her poems have appeared in various publications. She lives in Southern California and works as a business writer and consultant.



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