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Nancy Builds a UFO

By Nancy Huang

Accordingly in the 19th century, the word ‘celestial’ was
used as a slur against Chinese immigrants, who were seen
as strange and from somewhere far away.

I build a UFO. I paint it
sparkly purple like the best sex bruise

you ever got. I line
my foil aircraft with crystals

humming different vibrations.
I woo the shit out of this

engine battery. Rocket fuel and
hard rock swing. My launchers

breaking sound, my body galactic
with fabulous intent. See you

in the next nebula. I am good
at doing what I am told. If they say

Be holy, be heavenly,
be astronomical sky-slur. Be

alienesque straggler in a
foreign world
, I can do that.

I could snatch a body. Yours, even.
Could morph grotesque and

horny, tusked and tentacled, pale
cream and hard liquor. Broken ice

the color of eel’s blood, a tangy
volcanic wellspring for a mouth.

A thing that swears nothing
of beauty and still burrows a home

anywhere. This interloper with shiny
rocks in her pocket. Strange newcomer,

pretty automaton, the one who
came to make your babies pay.

The one who built enough rooms
in her spaceship for everyone

to fit. The one who crops circles in the
Midwest, levitates your militia.

I’ll park my box and throw
a good bash. Every word they

have for me only drew me closer
to the stars. I siege this planet

and leave. A body cultivated in
the heavens, a party in the sky.




Listen as Nancy Huang readsNancy Builds a UFO.”

Added: Tuesday, May 9, 2023  /  Used with permission.
Nancy Huang

Nancy Huang (she/they) grew up in America and China. Her debut collection, Favorite Daughter, was the winner of a Write Bloody First Book Prize. Her poetry, plays, and prose have been published by The Offing, The Margins,, and A24. She has an MFA from NYU. She works in a cemetery.

Image Description: A close-up of Nancy Huang outside with sun shining on their short, wavy dark hair. She looks down with eyes closed and a slight smile. Nancy wears a white, collared button up shirt with small black and white illustrations of figures.

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