In Search of

Jenny Xie

It wasn’t         the knob of sun

Or grainy currents             crossing the eye

that invites the thought             that you’ve finally arrived

at the clearest understanding       this very instant on the Huangpu River

where the mind is serrated             dragging its way
 

All this thinking             thousands along the river and inland

and still meaning is heavier             than the bodies we yoke it to
 

Surely for this reason             death must announce itself

again and again             in such sour language

so we may live closer                   to the senses
 

Moments when we feel history                   pulling from behind

the eyes             the mouth hooked

But the remainder             of this life

is still millions of kilometers away             from being born

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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