Two Poems by Stella Wong

By Stella Wong

Spooks (poem lined with double agents)
 
this is how to be a spook, if you know what’s good for your aging stars,
foolproof and Asian,
 
007 in a land where honeybees are near-extinct, and of legal age. look
this one up—a Chinese harpoon woos
 
the last foxy paper magnate. this poem oozes without moonmen
or goddess. when everyone thinks spies, they think soba or hooker noodles
 
in Brooklyn or cloistering by way of the woods with condoms and tarp.
know this—mushrooms and the poor are censored the same out here, and unlike
 
cowboys, more snaggletoothed Austin than world powers, no one’s sharpshooting villains 
in the face. a farm in Virginia called, and they’re going footloose without chicken coops.
 
the raw flanks names a senator crooked for their fuzzy handcuff emoji o-o (cougar, you get it). 
          there’s something here 
to be said about bamboo growing wilder than misunderstanding. James b needs to stop karate 
          chopping people in the neck. your streetfighter record is 0-0
 
and don’t throw away the receipt. you're a doomsdayer raccoon—gain weight
          and gain confidences,
and you won’t need a blood pact to goose Florida’s president.
 
(another one to yahoo). the only use of a boxing glove is to camouflage giant walnuts,
           and facebook tells you this is how to hunt squirrels.
Jason b has the Cool Whip and loom on lock, but gunfights are no gunfight 
           and really you’re on the run. so what do you do? if it’s a private eye, 
 
scissor the plastic you married, spoof your cheekbones, dye your hair with violent goo,
            buy a train ticket north, ride a greyhound south and hitchhike west.
and find a hoodie because you're more-faced than the Ghent Altarpiece. if it’s the UN’s 
            booster seat, the nation-state and Us Weekly scoop you in 48 hours. how to lose a guy
 
in seven rookie minutes? find a café, bribe the busboy, and you’ve bought yourself a backdoor     
hour or a microorgasm. hey, as long as you find the spot
            with targeted apps these days, it’s anyone’s schoolgame.

 
Spooks (we begin bombing in 5 minutes)
 
I’m a rented lie  
detector for the erotic subtext  
in your shotgun nuptials. I know better  
 
than to catch the MI5 in marsupial mode
proposing, won’t you be the tote bag  
to my red-handed dead drop? 
 
I singlehandedly stop human agency  
bloat by uninviting the stool pigeons  
and other sand dollar informants. 
 
The vows are three-legged nonsense  
but they hold up better than a beached aviator
before the biblical flood. The jetset NSA confesses
 
to the FBI, yet another tortured blues singer — now I get totalitarian
cardboard props, vaccines, and Shark Week just so  
someone’s always Russian to your defense.
 
 
 

Stella Wing

Stella Wong is the author of SPOOKS, winner of the 2020 Saturnalia Books Editors Prize, and AMERICAN ZERO, selected for the 2018 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize by Danez Smith. A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Wong’s poems have appeared in POETRY, Colorado Review, Narrative, Lana Turner, Bennington Review, the LA Review of Books, and more.