Poem of the Week


Jenny Xie

                       We take on the names of the deceased, give them new voices.
        – Celina Su

Struggles we had
a name for and those
for which we didn’t.

Some matted
from one
to the next.

Occasionally we
were released
from one
struggle though
we didn’t
detect it.


Everything carried
from north
to south
south becoming
and down.

The past moves like this—

The body, too, like this—


All the bodies
we take
on over
into harder

bitten fingers
stranger aches.


Growing is forgetting
and creation is
with a new head
at the fore

where the most
aggressive eyes


All this gaining
and letting go
honed along
the sharpest edges
of this life’s perimeter.


someone standing
to make a profit.


Nature reuses
not wanting
to waste
a thing.

And so we get sewn
back into
our origins.

The deeper

Jenny Xie is the author of the poetry collections The Rupture Tense and Eye Level, a recipient of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in New York City.
Originally published:
April 20, 2022


10 Ways Ms., Sassy, and Jezebel Changed Your Life!

How contradiction drove fifty years of feminist media
Maggie Doherty

How Emily Wilson Reimagined Homer

Her boldly innovative translation of the Iliad is an epic for our time
Emily Greenwood

In the Shallows

Why do public intellectuals condescend to their readers?
Becca Rothfeld

You Might Also Like

No Exit

Jenny Xie