Two Poems

By Connor Ong



April 19, 1994

Apparently when I was born

I asked the OB-GYN

if the lighting in the room could be changed

I wanted it less direct,

preferred it to be a little more developed

and civil to all things inside the room

especially the elements unfocused


I asked the light to walk over

to the mess of unplugged electrical cords in the corner

to the space between a stain of coffee and one of blood

on that shirt poking out of the drawer


Pleaded that the light commit itself

to the rising and sinking brow of a nurse assistant

lost in her own imagination as she stared at a doorknob

thinking about the way that boy said goodbye to her


The doctor caught wind of this, scratched his head

turned to his team and to my parents and back

(it was all very difficult for them)

and said

              “But Connor, you’ve just been born. The room

                has to be in accordance with you as its center.”


So I climbed down off my mother

and wagged my genitals around until

none of them found it funny—

leaving me and the room

the fuck alone



All there is

other than my bed

is this chair

this is simply true

a fact you couldn’t argue with


The two of them are only a few inches apart

but I might as well be

in a different decade

sitting in this chair


My breath changes rhythm

and the amount of cobwebs in

the corners of the room


and summer comes back

but not in the way I want

rather in the way

of bug bites

populating themselves once again

around my joints and everywhere else

my skin is

close to the bone

Connor Ong writes fiction and poetry. He is from Seattle, WA and has since lived in various other places, including Woodbury, TN which is where he is living now. He graduated from Hampshire College in 2016.

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