By Zhihua Wang
Arrive early to check in, wait for the nurse to call your name, wait for the doctor to come into the room. I brought a book, but never bothered to open. Mind strains like an alarm is to ring, a sentence to be announced. Wait to take the test, wait for the result, then another… like a bus arriving at a station, drops some people, mount some new. Footsteps far and near, doors shut and open, meeting and parting words at your eardrum, knocks at a door, but it’s not yours. Wait is a way to defeat will, till an hour is not an hour, you are not you. Like a rosary missing a few beads, when you count it in your hand, sometimes, only wait while wait.
People are talking about which vaccine to take: Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson. They search online and compare words for the one with the least side effects. I delay again and again for my CT scan, for fear of the dye and the radiation. The best choice is to have no choice, get what there is. Tell me a thing that’s pure good – food wears out organs, sleeping steals my time, exercising hurts my bones, reading blurs my vision. And love – it breaks my heart; as for this poem, it amplifies moments, examines nature, and makes me more judgmental.
Take a Bow
When you’re glittering on stage for your final curtain call, I’ve retreated from my seat and left the hall. Forgive me for leaving you without a word, if later, you’ll search for me in the crowds and expect to meet my eyes. Afraid of shuttling between people, also don't know how to face the you after costume and makeup. Take a bow, to you, in my heart. The road ahead is dim, but you’re a full moon, shining in my world.
I call you forever in my most painful moments, but I won’t tell you. My eyes are always wet thinking of my inconsiderate past, but I won’t let you know. You are my life coordinate, portrayed my starting point, tracing my every movement. You’re my farthest hometown, the closest place my heart dwells upon. The umbilical cord we shared was never cut off, every time we separate, it binds us together.
My dream is to have a house of my own, with forest trails in its surroundings. Every day, I can expect a walk outside. My dream is to have a large table, on it are all the books I love, my job is to write my poems. I dream the sky is blue, the sun is warm, water is sweet, food is green, the internet is close, the world is at a distance, the only thing I feel short of is time.
I salute every one of you that I pass by. I move constantly, you're there all the time. Your abundance often slows my steps. Must I set forth endlessly in order to flourish? Maybe you pursue the sky, so you reach up to your best, like I imagine happiness is always ahead on my road.
Trees at My Window
Every migration is like a permanent separation. The trees at my window have become an everlasting picture. Whether full in green, or bare in coldness, they stand, arms open. Wherever I go, trees accompanied my life will be in my heart, always grow. Birds are singing, leaves are falling, even though everything is lost, everything comes back.
Zhihua Wang is a poetry candidate in the Arkansas Writers’ MFA Program at the University of Central Arkansas. She worked as the Managing Editor of Arkana from 2019-2020. Her recent work is shown/forthcoming in Aji Magazine, Last Leaves, San Pedro River Review, Across The Margin, Writers Resist, Eunoia Review and more.
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