Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016

Bare feet on a stony bank

Stones Between the Toes, I Walked

in Gun Violence/Identity by

trying to hold my body in the shape of a canvas,
a wind sail, trying hard not to look so breakable.
                                                    Tomorrow a man will buy a gun
Two weeks ago I was a konnichiwa.
Tonight my shoes say nihao, too pretty for a Chinese.
Eight blocks it takes me to shake him.
He tells me it’s a privilege to be wanted.
I could be burned from head to stone
and still: they would call it desire.
                                                    Tomorrow a man will walk into a spa
Keys ready at the knuckles, I walked,
feeling the hot stones in my pocket,
             of two weeks,
             one year
             a hundred ago,
from when there were murrum roads,
lignite burned to soft coal and still: these streets
are not mine, the thing with concrete is
it doesn’t dent. You don’t have to ask what hurt me.
                                                    Tomorrow a man will kill six Asian women
The difference between a bullet and a chisel is time.
No one will tell me when the night ends.
Even the man I love doesn’t know why
I rage, why I crush the things I should have said
in my sedimentary mouth, why I wreck everything
just to leave a dent the length of a small key.
                                                    Tomorrow a man will be believed
Tomorrow we dive through the wreckage
and the roads will be poured in, broken in, made of us.



Yun Wei received her MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College and studied at Georgetown University and London School of Economics. Her poetry and fiction appear in Michigan Quarterly, Shenandoah, Poetry Northwest, Summerset, Wigleaf and many others. She lives in Switzerland.

Photo by Caroline Hernandez.


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