In Which I Search for My Brother’s Missing Body in Ohio

Khaty Xiong

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

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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.

January 2021

Chicago, Illinois

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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.

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