planting
 
c.x. hua

behind this door         and many doors,

all the souls in this family

doing dishes

and moonlight outlining the neon backroom,

                 dark Chinatown strangers and trees and trees.

 

later                       when we touch,

I am wondering

about the cost of hands

                 moving swift across a rose bed of time,

feeling your skin, where it detangles equations for longing

and this household’s aches at work

                 folding, washing, drying

 

the body can live                     on so little

that maybe it is stone, a planetary mass.

the cabbage roses whistle

and hum, grow large

like a wedding

 

I watch faces grow still                     dead fly in the glass

across linoleum tiles, flesh

of my endless mother kneeling

                 all the manic romance of the pure world 

                 how it pins your feet to the floor

where the buds begin opening

 

some of them are love poems

some of them are ghosts

some skeletons descend their staircases,

like light                  becoming what it is

as it tangles through evening,

to lie deserted

                 across your doorstep like all these flowers.

C. X. Hua is a poet and artist. She was previously a Finalist for the Norman Mailer Awards in Poetry, and a fellow with Brooklyn Poets. She has been published in Electric Lit, Boulevard, and the Los Angeles Review.

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