Sunday, September 13, 2020

Pledge by Wendy Xu



The diagnosis was god, twice a day until the spirit

untangles itself. I took a trip into unscripted days

past, teenagers submit to the window an open

facing yawn. A walnut fell into the grave

of my loved one and stayed there beating patient

like a word. I was still unmoved by disbelief watching

my father mumble the pledge and hot white stars

he can’t remember. Nobody got hurt, some un-

fulfilled potential exits the room. Enter, knowledge.

Men came to dispel ambiguity and raced

my intention to a hard boiling over. Each new decade

we stayed was a misinterpretation

of genre. We showed our teeth over the years to those

who would listen. In the face of the absent subject

I felt my desire go flaccid. The leaves fell dutifully one by one

from their limbs. But I wrote to you against all odds.

Money. Paperwork. Love’s heavy

open door. Critique. Indignity. Vision and often

enough time.

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