← Issue 2

A river of forgotten things, or poetry

by David Xiang

The way to the river leads past

late doors broken glass gentler
echoes  Letters trailing ash old
and still smelling of home  See

the trail is here there will begin
a procession of children taught
to look backwards  It is a place
of no names only snapshots in

foreign tongues  But soon after
I will learn and bring a handful
of water  Walk slowly to listen
Bring my palms close write on

my rinsed pocket mirror  Look
closer and it seems empty until
only I am left  Husk discarded
to count in sync with a faceless

current  Every second is new a
way to forget memory of small
things  For they will flood this
direction  Prevent turning back

Perhaps I will find another dip
myself in  Shiver read out loud
It will be comforting  It will go
Drifting on on as it always has.

David Xiang studies at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He started writing poetry as a freshman in high school, after attending the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. In 2015, he was selected as a National Student Poet, America’s highest honor for youth poets. He gave his inaugural poetry reading at the White House at the invitation of former First Lady Michelle Obama, and has shared his experiences with poetry at high schools and conferences all over the nation. At Harvard, he has taken classes with Josh Bell and currently studies with Jorie Graham, and is on the poetry board at the Harvard Advocate. He has been recently published in the Cordite Poetry Review and the Bluffton Literary Journal.

The Roadrunner Review nominated “A river of forgotten things, or poetry” for a 2019 Best of the Net award.