Jeremy Ra


I once saw something I can’t explain.

I saw my grandfather looking 
through the window of my second-story apartment,

his bald eyes peeling
back my sins, 
especially the ones I enjoyed. 

Locked in an eternal staring contest with him, 
I forgot I’d been awake for two days 
until I twitched. Surrounded by the blistering, chill air

where god and devil meet, he melted
into the pane’s hollow imprint 
of the moon. 

The next morning, I inspected the building, 
but found no anchoring bricks large enough
to provide a step up to my window. 

I was sad to see the remains I had of him explained
by the lack of grimy footprints—

I thought he had clawed back into the world
that erased him to hand me 
a twenty-dollar bill

he always sent me on my birthday—
the only way he knew how to communicate
when he was near the end.

On nights when sleep can’t erase me, 
I listen to a moon as blank as him

as it talks of things he never could.

Jeremy Ra is a queer, Chinese-Korean-American poet living in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared or will appear in I-70 Review, Cultural Daily, San Diego Poetry Annual, and Glimpse. He was a finalist for the 2021 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and the PEN Center Emerging Voices.


All rights © Jeremy Ra