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The phonetics of a white rose

trill, lost in sudden screenings of an interlude

downpour. May I interrupt: pigeons bronzed

at dinnertime flocking east, a dark bouquet.

Puddles bloom and wilt under my foot,

pockets of fish belly gray. Socks

droop in humidity, half-heart leaves

shapes of my body. (the pistil of jagged nails) Who strips

the petals and plants the stalk? Days as a stigma

catching pollens of words hurtle

in the spiral trajectory of seeds. May

I interrupt: white roses are budding.



In the smoke-red tiles

cicadas undergo

hemimetabolism. Ink-lined wings rubbing

to the flatulent of tires. The sinking 

in the small hours of morning. Petals 

of coal in the train’s metal boxes.

It is punctual, the sound of “punctual,” like dragonflies

mating, their ommatea reflecting shards of pondlight.

Exposed epithelial tissue

of a brick

wall. What is this feeling?

You mean a 

dust particle in the eye—an autonomic

process of contraction. I squeeze 

my sockets and a bloom

of white sparks, a quick,

visceral flower I write

for the knowing of.

Ash Zeng is a poet from Shanghai, China who explores gender and immigrant identity in their poems and wishes to use poetry as their conduit of self expression. They are currently studying as a freshman in Emory University's English & Creative Writing Program. In their freetime, they like to listen to Yorushika and cook food from their hometown.

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