Hua Xi

I toss a handful into the air.

A handful of nonspecific stuff.

What is this that my hands are tossing?

I’m tossing handfuls of snow into the air.

Where am I getting all this snow on a summer’s day?

It must come from somewhere inside me.

I’m tossing handfuls of somewhere everywhere, all the way

up into the air, and it’s flitting down and amassing

atop the immaculate townships.

Tin roofs. Church steeples. Lines of parked cars.

Summer is a pure lone mountain.

Somehow, a winter flowers against an enormous blue loneliness

as a figure wilts far below and wonders,

How can snow fall without falling in love?

Wherever I go, my furthest thoughts are lightly billowing.

Whatever is buried within me, I keep

pulling out in tufts.

I hope that when I feel cold, you can feel what I feel

but without feeling any cold.

Because I have struggled to do so,

I choose to believe that

not all sadness comes from somewhere.

The sadness that comes from somewhere drifts down

and mixes with the sadness that isn’t from anywhere.

All of us are ordinary people. None of us

can escape the difficult nature

of being thrown away

by a warm afternoon in winter.

Hua Xi is a poet and artist. She is currently a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford. Her poems have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She has won the Boston Review Poetry Contest and the Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award.
Originally published:
June 10, 2024


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