Katie Manning



Here is the entrance to Chinatown

at last two buses and a block of walking

from our Victorian bed and breakfast.

Why is everyone on this corner talking


in English? I'm slightly disappointed.

My new husband, Jon, tells me to pose beside

the gargoyle statue, so I stand with my fingers

pulling the corners of my already-slanted eyes.


Katie! Jon has a horrified

look on his face, but he manages

to click the picture of me

the moment I lower my hands.


Farther up the slanted street

in a kitchen supply store

we make our first frivolous purchase:

twenty pairs of plastic chopsticks and four


Chinese soup spoons. We'll use them

some day. Back on the street,

little ladies stand in doorways and push

dim sum. We give in. We eat.


Then we walk on with raised cameras

like the tourists in jokes. We each think

our new spouse is an enigma: like this window on the left,

full of clocks, with the sign Golden Time Travel Inc.

Katie Manning's poetry and book reviews have been published or are forthcoming in
Ancient Paths, Bare Root Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, New Letters, ONTHEBUS, Poet Lore, Relief, So to Speak, Trivia, and Word Riot, among others, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She and her husband recently moved from San Diego to Lafayette, Louisiana, where they're learning many new uses for the word y'all.




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