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

Unit of Measure

Bees keep no appointments. They rasp open the lid of each day to dip into fool’s filling. Meanwhile, there are those in temples who bring the breath to the body’s surface: their sit-bones molded to buckwheat cushions, their spines upright as if held in suspension by fishing rods. On Kawara, who mixed fresh his reds, blacks, and blues on each day’s rim then set time in its casing with the slim sewing of pencil and then brush. Oh, motion sickness of the minute hand that came centuries after the hour —  trimming the day down to property and to size. To fill time or to decant it? That which must be ingested undiluted —  Which passes from my body to yours.

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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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