In Which I Search for My Brother’s Missing Body in Ohio
Summer oaks warring on the hills A doe partaking of a resurrecting tulip Breakfast stray as my watery mindHow late the cloud of my body born here A year spent looking for the way love claimed you The moon lording from the overhang & into open fireIn days past nymphs came with their songs The house embalmed in secrets Sagging shadows chilled in starlight My life taken by the same weaponEach night before me corralling my limbs How often did I meet your eyes slit & thin?Scouring these hills Fresno hangs blue as ever Full of your roaming corpse Luang Prabang heavy in silver (heart made of rain) Mother amiddill & mustard flowers Early winter in the garden we each learned to lose What a sight to cherish in my brain!The doe as fleeting carrion My hunger to protect these lungsI can’t stay for long so I’ll do this slowly The sun a sweet ember sleeved in the grove that shades you My arm a bridge between one & me A pledge so small I drop far & into the heat
Copyright © 2021 by Khaty Xiong
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Khaty Xiong is a poet from Fresno, California. She is the author of Poor Anima (Apogee Press, 2015), the first full-length collection of poetry published by a Hmong American woman in the United States. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Montana. Her work has been featured in Poetry, Gulf Coast, The Adroit Journal, Academy of American Poets and Poetry Society of America websites, and elsewhere. Xiong’s most recent honor includes a 2020 RuthLilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship.
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Harriet Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume I of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach.