Summer 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 1 Poetry |

Leaf in the Wind, 1963

The Kenyon Review · "Leaf in the Wind" by Victoria Chang Yesterday I slung my depression on my back and went to the museum. I asked only four attendants where the Agnes painting was, and the fifth one knew. I walked into the room and saw it right away. From afar, it was a large white square. I thought of my childhood home, whitewashed siding and the door my mother painted red so we would not vanish. This was not that house. As I got closer, I could see the pencil lines. In the middle of the painting, a blotch of white. I thought all day about the extra paint. It was so hot that I forgot to read my depression into everything. That day, I brought a daughter with me. We spent the day so close to each other’s unhappinesses that they began to smear together into a new form. Seven months later, I have cut eight lines off this poem for no other reason except that they were lies. Perhaps all lines are lies.                     

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Victoria Chang’s forthcoming book of poems, With My Back to the World, will be published in 2024 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her latest book of poetry is The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon Press, 2022) and her nonfiction book, Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions), was published in 2021. OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry.

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