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But Again

Cindy Xin

Albany, NJ

Albany High School



it begins with blindness: the indistinguishable swarm of

sun and dark     your enemies swaddling chrysanthemums

across the darkest plumes of your body. by your face:  a

hand struck with hope, a garage of pulleys and medicine,

a mother and a father who call you by a name until the

doves whittle sky-thin. They are moondust. They are catalyst.

Wherever you wander, you will return to those faces:

in the mirror, father is waiting on the bridge by the pond

father is waiting without books in his hand    father is by

his desk again creating life     with a pipe & some smoke,

evaporating blood through his palms into your throat.

can you believe in river?    that in moments desperate

enough, your blood will suffice as wings? you learn the

names of trees to understand his kind of wisdom:

acacia thin, hemlock wild.     you visit his god, drape

his angels over your eyes,    and learn the steady nature

of violence.     when the snow came in torrents, you

reached for his hand only to find an empty salve:   the ice un-

peeling to river, water-blood warming you to safety,

love in fragments too small to hold


This poem weaves together its narrative like an ancient tapestry: complex, textured, and accented with threads of gold that you don't even notice until you've tilted your head a hundred times, side to side and back again.


Cindy Xin attends Albany High School in Albany, California and is graduating in 2020. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys taking walks alone around the city.

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