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You carry a notebook everywhere. 
Mosquitos interrupt. 
Emptiness wanders, 
its first editions, 
its marked-up outlines, 
its very early initial drafts. 
It's still wet out and the edges 
of the damp sheets begin to curl 
as if haunted. 
You press 
a single chicory petal 
between two pages of snow 
in a copy of Basho. It hides 
away there like a fugitive. 
Dead butterfly. 
Yellow post-it note. 
There was a time 
when the words 
spoke to you in English. 
A time when your father 
drank every day. 
Crossing the park, 
you notice it, 
around the benches,
the perfume of liquor 
in the dead and dying morning. 
The sign a cold night had lay there. 
Maybe had been real. 
In the parking lot, common dandelions 
sprout without meaning anything. 
People have written GOD in spray paint 
on the dumpster to the side of the freeway. 
You write PRAY with your toes in sand at the cape. 
Erase the rock pools and the touching and the low tide. 
There is. There isn't. You are. Nothing is not. 
Everything is true if it is still alive. 
Somewhere. I hope you know that. 
I hope the grass.

Listen to "So Long, Lonesome" by Explosions in the Sky, selected to accompany Hua's work, below:

00:00 / 03:40
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HUA XI is a poet and artist. She is interested in flowers, telephone lines, train stations and time. Her writing can be found in places like Boston Review, Narrative Magazine and Electric Lit.

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