My Dissent and My Love Are Woven Inside Me

Wendy Xu on

Published in Poem Of The Day

I commune with the text by way of railing against the text
The molecular processes of you are never finished
I move through air in the early fall, a cooling spittle, high heat days are gone

When the troops leave the replica city, you see that its battlements are written in green

A Western style of defense, no birds, all men

Same plaza, white stones, black columns, no memory

You want to walk along the path meant for military vehicles and are denied

You want to try falling down where others had before you, and are unceremoniously

You wanted permission to travel to the mainland to see your mother

All of your desires were completely impractical

That is, you did not want to atone for anything you had done

About this poem
"In Beijing there is an ongoing practice of building replica sites of places like Tiananmen Square for the purposes of 'rehearsing' military operations and parades. This poem deals with immigrant guilt and the inherited desire for atonement, forgiveness."
-Wendy Xu

About Wendy Xu
Wendy Xu is the author of "You Are Not Dead" (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013). She teaches at Baruch College, City University of New York, and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

2015 Wendy Xu. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate




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