The Flag

On the roof of the old barracks
a row of air vents burr,
breathless as nuns praying.
A string of bird calls—
light starts trickling,
sleepers fret behind the gauze.

A string of katydid songs
stark in the foothills
of Tennessee,
maybe it was Morgantown.
There, the library in July was cool
like a nave. Tell no one.  Desire
is the flag I open and fold.
My room alights in doubt.

-Pui Ying Wong, Up the Staircase

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