Two Poems

Love Letter

The heart-shaped leaves
run home from the trees. Their mothers
wait for them, never give up on them.

Must all children give up on their mothers
some day?

Life is wall-shaped.

Cars smash into it. That’s why
language is crash-shaped.

The letter f faces east like a windblown fir,
and the letter O is an eye looking
up at you like a stone.

But even if you poured the whole sea into it, the bowl
will never become water-shaped.

So all the mother-shaped sentences chasing
the idea of the world through the marble archways
will still just be piece-of-paper-shaped.

Even so, people write such long poems of love by
walking aimlessly through the parks.

There must be some reason.
Some season.

Out past the page,
something real like a peach branch.

I write to you in blue ink even though
I am not a fountain pen.

Even though I am not a love letter.

Hand-Drawn Face

The tree-shaped hearts
run out of leaves. A country wind
wails through them, cries out to them.

Must all children give up on their mothers some day?

I remember thinking that no matter how many leaves fall away,
a tree is still a tree.

RainrainrainrainrainraiiBut when does the tree fall away?
RainrainrainrainrainraiiDoesn’t anybody know
the real meanings of things?

I drew a glorious springtime in the margins
of a school exam
but then

the questions blew away.

Now I draw my own face

on a ream of brown mulberry,
but somebody elseRainiblows away blows away.

A little fan shouts
from the ceiling, all the way

Rainrainrainrainiidown to where I live.

I hold an electric fan up to my face,
but my life stays still without moving.

The unbearable cannot be erased. A typhoon rustles
from my dark to yours.

Nothing is as hand-drawn
as where you come from.

I have forgotten what they look like,
Rainrainrainrainiithe people that I loved.

Shapes on pieces of paper.

Would you say that love is still a leaf
no matter how far away it blows?

Or is everything in the world
something which once drifted away . . .

Hua Xi is a poet and artist. Their poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Guernica, The New Republic and elsewhere. They love blue ink.