Enshia Li

Consider the way snow fell on the Western Front: feathered & / indecisive, droplets sprung flat like parachutes & the opposite / of death.

Histories

Consider the way snow fell on the Western Front: feathered &
indecisive, droplets sprung flat like parachutes & the opposite

of death. Yes, we can all agree on the small details: the sharp
draw of wind & the larks, black-bodied. The sound of bullets

shearing the owner from the name. Somewhere, there was
at least one boy named Tommy. Now, I consider my ancestors

without song. Somewhere, there was at least one chicken, all dawn
feathers & dirtied with mud. Somewhere, sweat beaded on at least

one pale neck & one blue vein was charcoaled by night. There was
at least one scythe, the lip of at least one gash unfolding the pocket

of a body which never learned the language of mercy but prayed
Mercy, mercy with every godless lobe of bone opened to the sky

like hands, waiting for rain. Now, whatever violence is formless &
takes the shape of my mouth flooding with blood, which is to say

every woman in my family has a hidden yearning between her teeth,
which is to say that in the evenings, I gnaw on myth. I bite my tongue,

scraping iron to justify each sorrow I will never sing. I know memory
only as a map of murmuring blood, the disquiet corners of this body.

Enshia Li is a junior majoring in English Literature at Stanford University. She hails from Toronto and a few other places. Her work appears or is forthcoming in diode poetry journal, DIALOGIST, and Up the Staircase Quarterly.

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