I don't know who
the teacher in me
a flame green snail perched on the head of a Buddha
lit to start the forest
but we all burned down
without yelling fire
Note: This poem was previously published in Future Earth magazine.
CHING-IN CHEN is the author of The Heart's Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. They are a Kundiman, Lambda and Norman Mailer Poetry Fellow and a member of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation and Macondo writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston. In Milwaukee, they are cream city review's editor-in-chief. They will be reading at Hidden Culture Tap on Thursday, Nov. 21, 7pm with Susan Firer and Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara at Downtown Books (624 N. Broadway, Milwaukee WI)