dear Bambi/

be careful / don’t let them know / the deer they’ve killed / is a doe. / Oh Bambi / why does
petting you / feel like burglary? / Morning light / licks you off your bones / your home is a field
of exit wounds / a rubied mouth. / Morning and the men / are after you / Bambi, be careful / you
are a trophy / only when mounted. / They want to coax / a knife into your mouth / cut you a
smile. When / they say your name / you hear a burned-down forest / a mountain peak / like your
mother’s teat / Milk the color of skin. / Bambi, dance because / they’re watching / Your antlers
budding / like blood. / They want to climb / into you / like a high / window, don’t you know /
your whitest spots / are just fingerprints? / That violence / is a kind of / weather? / All around
you / flowers give into / opening. To bloom / is to confess / your color, Bambi. / There’s a badge
/ couched in your mouth / a policeman aiming his headlights / his shadow scabbing into nighttime
/ Animals aren’t afraid / of the dark / but night is an abduction / Bambi, don’t / you know? A
bullet singing / through the body / is our national / anthem


Kristin Chang lives in California. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in BOAATSOFTBLOWPowder Keg Magazine, the HIV Here & Now Project, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for two Best of the Net awards and is currently on staff of Winter Tangerine Review. She is located at