I think my shadow falls
where it won’t be lonely. Dead beside me.
The passenger plane overhead
blinks like a wish.
Please give me time.
In my next life, reincarnate me
as a whistling through the lettuce leaves,
thunderous veins and dense and dark-haired
frisée. Clocks stop. My bones say
don’t you have any place to be.

My mother’s hands are washing dishes
illegally. Until the water is raided by police.
My mother must have imagined
a different sort of life
for her shadow, and I think I am scared of damasks,
perfuming violently. A rose can live thirty-five years,
time enough to unfurl unbeautifully.
Clocks go. The desperate run.
Even small animals are busy being alive.
Snow is falling.
It has nowhere else to go.

C.X. Hua

C.X. Hua 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 is interested in flowers, train tracks, hills, and memory.