from A Certain Chinese Encyclopaedia

by Sarah Howe

Belonging to the Emperor

Today my name is Sorrow.
So sang the emperor’s first nightingale.

The emperor was a fickle god.
He preferred to be thrilled by an automatic bird

in filigreed gold. A musicbox, a leitmotif.
Love me, please. Orange blossom.

I see my father bathed in the blare of that same
aria, prodding the remote

to loop. Chiamerà, chiamerà
His face is red. Beneath his glasses, it is wet.

Fabulous

GFP is a protein derived from the jellyfish, Aequorea victoria, which emits
green light
upon illumination with blue light.
        – Hofker & van Deursen,
Transgenic Mouse: Methods and Protocols

Chimera, chimera –

               where does your garden grow?
A grafted Paradise. A mouthful of snow.

A Trojan conception – maculate cargo.
A spliced mouse – its unearthly day-glo.