Wendy Xu

AND THEN IT WAS LESS BLEAK
BECAUSE WE SAID SO

Today there has been so much talk of things exploding
into other things, so much that we all become curious, that we
all run outside into the hot streets
and hug. Romance is a grotto of eager stones
anticipating light, or a girl whose teeth
you can always see. With more sparkle and pop
is the only way to live. Your confetti tongue explodes
into acid jazz. There are small typewriters
that other people keep in their eyes
clicking away at all of our farewell parties. It is hard
to pack for the rest of your life. Someone is always
eating cold cucumber noodles. Someone will drop by later
to help dismantle some furniture. A lot can go wrong
if you sleep or think, but the trees go on waving
their silly little hands.

*

*

THE FUTURE DOESN’T CARE
ABOUT YOUR BREAKFAST

By 7:30 AM I am ready to lie about all of my regrets.
I will eat this oatmeal and it will be delicious, then I will find
something in my email that makes me smile. Against all
preparations I’ll think of you anyway. I’ll throw something
out the window. I’ll turn into a fancy toothpaste, foam
and blister in your mouth. The future will still be made
of cavernous dust and horses. Nico will call and remind me
that staying inside is for idiots. Televisions cracked
in the heat. Ponies where there were none.

*

*

OF DREAMS WHERE YOU BECOME
A SUICIDAL, CERAMIC FRUIT-BOWL

You’ve done it many times. Positively hurled your body
from the cliff-side as an apocalypse rumbled by

on a dozen white horses. The apocalypse has a sense of humor
and impeccable taste. It’s unbelievable what we demand

from our loved ones. Easier to believe, that we’re all just occupying
an imaginary life as dishware, cracked limbs

whistling past each other in the wind. It’s almost melody.
It’s almost a tune your friend hears in Kentucky, a clear note

from an iron bell. And really, who didn’t have dreams
of being good last night? A truck hauled a carnival

across the desert. A bowl met some oranges
and you know the rest. Jeff still says there are wolves

beneath the window. They drag the city out
from under its bed-sheet.

*

*

TINY PALACE

Sorry that I ate all the best cubes
of watermelon. Picnics make me nervous
or hungry. Near us there is a terrible cicada
thrashing about on the grass trapped
inside its own terrible shell. Its face
is a dark, vibrating marble. Things happen
but we get by. There’s a dog
with a missing leg licking the face
of another dog. All of this takes place
inside a mysterious, tiny palace. Love threatens
to tear it down. Build us a new one
in place of explaining why.

*

*

AUBADE WITH
TREES

And still the back cracks with frustrated verse. I
am tired today but not weary of this evening’s
novelties, red cups opening to splendor.
Dropped eggs into the pan. Moon lowered to
swing an arc but your brow was a ship,
leaving port.

-

So what if I have chronic pain. I imagine your
tongue grooving the lines of a body, tea boiling
over the lip. When you leave something behind
it becomes a gift. When you ask for it again
it never existed.

-

Pink blossoms floating in a bowl where every
moment, an anchor. You tangled up the
television wires this morning before work. Our
bodies get soggy with rain. They sleep
next to each other fingers touching.

-

Refused treatment then but will hear
you now. The glass mug sweats itself into pools
not including your face, gasp of light swarming
an eye.

-

Ticked into being there are so many
mountains. What will you say when they need
you to be leader? The trees take
inventory of themselves roofing towards sky.
Look up to have a look
back. So what if I keep to the ground?

*

*

DINNER UNINVITATION

Fingered the tops of fences because
cracked land divides neatly.
In baseball there are rules.
Sometimes what you need comes in
the mail, unpacked seven white
boxes and then a canvas. The
heart has always been
anthropomorphized. I hacked
into the prairie-grass and found a
smaller prairie. Everything is true
or can be made. Your face
burned into a wider frame.
No, through it.

*

*

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