After Dark

Hua Xi

At the end of a lifetime,                            I was a doorthat opened only from the inside.I was a pronoun that danced on the tableas the breath rushed out the room,        was a flash of hair, pixels streaking.The dance floor was studded with wishes,chests fluttering                with squares of August sky.Everywhere doors opened and closedinside us, pocketsof country dark I could not see.So I hung the eveningby a rope. Loaded the gunwith silence.It was the end of a lifetime, untilyou struckone end like a match.And the burning piano released its music.And the music was a pain we could walk through.Blue nights across black floors,we the peopleswept towards each other                like two hands of a clock.Loveis a checkerboard of light.Where my heartbeat goes, itsprints the length of checkered farmlands,wrapped in the disco                of some stranger's arms.Inside people                after dark,these stepsgo all the way down,the kind of ending that goes on forever,                the kind of forever that dies outside the body.Lovelinessis a measure of time,and strangeness,a sail you can breathe into.The birds in my skies tell methey want to be free,and the pair of lovers in the doorwayhappens all the time:A person walks through a doorin another person's darkness

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Hua Xi is a poet and artist. She was previously a Finalist for the Norman Mailer Awards in Poetry, and the winner of the Boston Review Poetry Contest. She has been published in Boulevard, Electric Lit and Columbia Journal.

Volume XXXIX, Number 2

Bowling Green, Ohio

Bowling Green State University

Abigail Cloud

Managing Editor
Julie Webb

Poetry Editor
Abigail Cloud

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