paper • 82 pages • 14.95
ISBN-10: 1-884800-52-1

Half-Lit Houses

Tina Chang


He is shrinking by degrees
but no one is counting.

To the East, fishermen cast nets
over his children.To the West,
rocks fill up his wife’s shoes.
She will never walk again.

Even when he is standing
like a headless nail, a battered fish,
he refuses all the food that is given him.

His bones have made islands of themselves.
The soul begins to speak:
spoon, ladle, malice in his mouth.
The body, a cage. Sundown.

His fingers fall away from his face.
One day he will wander away
from home and will not recognize
anyone who tries to stop him.

Three weeks later he will come home
from rain dying of fever.
But he will die of hunger first.

Praise from Publishers Weekly, February 23, 2004

“Chang channels historical settings and limns an identity marked by ‘Life broken down by the sallow tongue and feverish saliva’.” – Publishers Weekly, February 23, 2004