Another rejection, another sleepless night, another dagger in my heart. I stumble and fall; I don’t feel anything. My vision ripped from me I plunge into darkness; I don’t feel scared. I whimper, screaming inaudible; I feel numb. Something appears in the pit of my stomach; it crawls up my throat; I feel a sensation. As I begin to taste it, I beg my throat to keep it; I feel a tingle. The words burning into my tongue, I cry out for you; I feel fear. I know you won’t come; now I feel everything.
–––––––––– “I write so I can breathe.” – the writer
The human mind in perennial discontent never fully appeased, agitated with intensity, perpetually stretching itself beyond recognition for the divine-designing Mind of God; restless too of heart, pained by the sensuous world’s fast-fading beauty tempered with ambiguity at every memory’s turning towards the mysteriously magnetic still point pointing due north through a crucible of sublime melancholy and exaltation, the crux of soul and heart rising.
––––––––––– The poet is a college professor of religious studies.
Why is it so hard to believe that we were wrong? We supposed, our first mistake in many, that you were everyone’s darling. We leaned over your white- washed fence, hoping to get a glimpse of your happiness. Your children posed American Gothic for you, so we could see that you were living a good life. You did everything right—you saved, you splurged, you drank wine every day. What were we doing? We were the mirror. We held you up and admired everything you said and did, without excuse or ex- planation. We ignored all the early warning signs.
–––––––––– “I write to reveal the story’s ‘under-telling.’ Read between the lines.” – the writer
Unconsciously, I’ve chosen a difficult road – going forward, thorns. going back, I don’t see my home.
By now, I can only wish that I can move on and be firm.
Don’t ask about me. Assume I’ve got many things in this world forgotten, like festivals, travels, and the enthusiasm for a reunion.
People are decorating their lives, to cheer others or please themselves. I only want to be left alone, with one heart sinking to the bottom.
–––––––––– Zhihua Wang is a poetry candidate in the Arkansas Writers’ MFA Program at the University of Central Arkansas. Her work has appeared in Aji Magazine and Currents, and is forthcoming in Last Leaves Magazine and San Pedro River Review.
You told me you loved poetry. Stilted and sharp, staccato across the page. I obliged, corners and pages spilling over my shirt sleeves until I couldn’t tell where they ended and I began. I’d approach you later with a sore tongue, trying to smash your love into my obsession like they belonged together. In September you left for Grad school and I tried to give you poems that reminded me of you. There was a brief flicker in your eyes the moment I handed it to you, and it was there I realized you never liked poetry to begin with.
–––––––––– Nicole writes because she has too many thoughts and too much free time.