Adrienne Su is the author of three books of poems, Having None of It (Manic D Press, 2009), Sanctuary (Manic D, 2006), and Middle Kingdom (Alice James Books, 1997). Recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, she is poet-in-residence at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, New Ohio Review, and Best American Poetry 2013.
It was surely invented by demons.
No one else could make it the human
norm, defied only by those military
civilians no one can identify
except as aberrations everyone
resents, know-it-alls impervious
to temptation, misfit geniuses,
certain as engines. Released into
the world of people, they cling to
order, chronically surprised
no one else met requirements,
complacently holding the ruler
by which the rest of us measure
growth, as we quit, start over,
scale the hills of our failure,
and descend the other side,
telling stories of our lives.