Notes on Sentence Crossing

Let it be an unruly one—an unplucked ass hair—not collagen but spite—not to live to
annihilate other living things—just to receive—I live to sieve—she says—who says—I
say now to her—I say now I admire the melodrama of this particular moment of
your suffering recorded—it was so cold that day, mom—and how did you do it—
how did you survive the baby off-cycling nocturnal so you were up all night—and
the language how did you survive that too— 

My little girl’s mouth is shaped like a tulip—her lip wiggles and the electrons in her
brain crackle like tin foil when she thinks—which is all of the time—I won’t let them
grind her up into meat—not today—they’d separate her into buckets and dispose of
her personality—and when she asks—what does she ask—could I feel the rupture-
swell in the syntax the bead of blood like a ruby—well of course you have a
personality I say to her—it was not to annihilate other living things—

I walked through the city with my moo-moo colors—hanging off my left arm—and
the habit I had was to speculate about when darkness would descend—thinking
about the hydroponically grown herbs that he loves—they dismiss him as their
owner—and this is how it goes with pets and children—they walk with you through
this forever-year—this distortion-spring—this element of toxicity falling like snow
through the air—or it was snowing real snow which is a kind of ash—I felt so weak
in my feather tuxedo—of ultramarine—

Copyright © 2023 by Wendy Xu. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 14, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.