Back to Issue Thirty-Four



Finalist for the 2020 Adroit Prize for Poetry


So impossibly hot today.
The kind where it feels there is only
enough water for one.
Shade will have to suffice.
A woman, perhaps beautiful, sits across,
so aware of her beautiful.
The kind that makes you wonder
what man accompanies her,
someone you would imagine regardless.
And if not a man, you smile.
And if no one, then why.
Now she leaves in a blue truck with her man.
I promise you I am very real.
I have not changed the broken bulb.
I am fond of being seen, but only to a specific degree.
I am fond of shiny things. I am fond of particular people.
I wish that beautiful woman had left
with another beautiful woman.
I wish my father would wish the same.
I visit cemeteries, especially on hot days.
Today every name becomes someone else’s,
something I so want to believe.
A man and a woman could be
a man and a man. A man and his man.
A man and a boy. A man and
his boy. A father and son. A space
between their lettering. Their graves.
Their arms. Their sons.
Their sons. Fatherless sons.


Alex C. Zhang has been featured or is forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review, The Adroit Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, The Blueshift Journal, and other publications. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the Bucknell University Stadler Center for Poetry, and graduated from Columbia University. He lives in New York City.

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