David Xiang


put in a place / where the sun feels warm / enough to sit outside & watch it sleep / or to feel the sprigs / of wildflowers & ferns / settling into their yellow & reds / to let the wind rash over / this stillness / clouds serrated flat / here the white caps mimic / my knuckles closed / shrubbery abridged into a few patches / passing of time / these ridges shrink as my hands tire / & the wind beats its existence into my skin / afterglow borrowed / from blues out of my reach / felt in variations that capture / just enough / as if the mind knows what it wants / snow to the left / greens to the right / dust whisked here & there to conceal / trees leaning in angles / touching in wind / where the sun feels small / enough to sit outside / watch it set /


all the new thinking is pretending to be old thinking / who put it in my mind / or was it already here / before I thought of the word / beginnings / that the marmot sits on its perch / remains static until I am loud enough / & when I am gone will remain there again / does it even matter / only later when I tell the story / to give the tall grasses warning / but still I find myself grieving / desperate for a reason to make it rational / in the moments coming out of a dream the fog covers the mountains / distances obscured / a longing briefly quenched / perhaps it is not a question of who / rather not a question at all / prison self-constructed / a sky where the sun does not set / where the difference between dawn & dusk is by choice / a problem I created because I had nothing better to do / this inability to end things / to know that an end exists / & not just the word /

David Xiang is a poet currently studying at Harvard Medical School. At Harvard College, he studied under Jorie Graham and Josh Bell. His work has been published in Cream City Review, The Harvard Advocate, Magma Poetry, Cordite Poetry Review, Roadrunner Review, among others. David was awarded the 2019 Lloyd McKim Garrison Prize in Poetry, awarded to a Harvard undergraduate for the best poem. In 2015, David served as a 2015 National Student Poet, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets.