No Exit

Jenny Xie

Once we were closer

Unswallowed by analysis
Wild and quick like mirror glass

But slowly we disciplined the mouth
Tamed it into movement

Spooned it clots of sound
from which other clots came

Under scattered blue shadows
sheets turned back and forth
Babbling softly and without end

Language licks inside the temples
Once we enter it

Old fog from which there is no exit

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 1, 2020


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