Jan/Feb 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 4, 2021 |

Memory Soldier

In June 2020, the photographer Li Zhensheng dies on a hospital bed in Queens, New York, of a cerebral hemorrhage, at the age of 79. A torn color. That red of clots, flags, armbands. Of ropes of firecrackers that irradiate the past. Of eardrums, blasted doors to the mind. Of all that drains from opaque masses. With the passage out of life, memory images spill over an unspoken margin, dragged across from the warm retinal currents of those who remain. And carried off is the purest of memory, anterior to image, which once swarmed like river water between the red banks of him. Boyhood: he worships films with such fervor he pays for cinema tickets by collecting the aluminum of toothpaste sleeves. Brushing profligately, at times, to amass more tubes, much to his grandmother’s alarm. Times when he couldn’t afford a ticket, he stood outside of the cinema just to listen to the sound of the film playing. There, his imagination grafted to the movement at the source of what he he

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Jenny Xie
Jenny Xie is the author of Eye Level (Graywolf Press, 2018), selected by Juan Felipe Herrera as the winner of the 2017 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and Nowhere to Arrive (Northwestern University Press, 2017), recipient of the 2016 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize. Her poems appear in Kenyon Review Online, Poetry, American Poetry Review, New Republic, Tin House, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and support from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and Poets & Writers.

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In June 2020, the photographer Li Zhensheng dies on a hospital bed in Queens, New York, of a cerebral hemorrhage, at the age of 79. A torn color. That red […]

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In June 2020, the photographer Li Zhensheng dies on a hospital bed in Queens, New York, of a cerebral hemorrhage, at the age of 79. A torn color. That red […]

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