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2 poems
by
Amy Wang

Amy Wang is a writer from California. She is a 2020 prose alumnus of The Adroit Journal's summer mentorship under Andrew Gretes. When not crying over fanfiction, you can find her translating Chinese literature, coding, and taking long walks.

I love you the way dogs love people they will

only ever see once, which is to say I love you

 

with an eagerness that belies my time. At the park

yesterday, a girl lost her grip on her golden retriever

 

and the big old thing ran straight over to me

as if some god had so compelled it to. In the grass

 

beneath those shade trees, I felt that dog’s small

breath skimming over my face and I imagined

 

you must have felt something the same that

last Friday evening we spent together, when

 

the two of us laid in bed facing each other 

and I told you about a myriad of things that both

 

of us knew would no longer matter in the morning.

You held my shoulders and rubbed small circles

 

all over them—small circles whose tracks I can

trace into my skin even now—and told me

 

that someone would one day know me in the way

I deserved to be known. Neither of us spoke

 

aloud the thought that you were not that person,

neither of us broke through the dark veil

 

of the evening as it fell over our heads. Did

you love me, then? Not in the way that a dog

 

would love — did you love the way I surrendered

to you because I knew that you were the only thing

 

capable of giving me warmth? As that dog fell

asleep in my arms, I imagined that you must have

 

loved me, even if it was only a dim part of you

that was too small to climb out of the back of you

 

-r throat. I loved that dog, you know. I loved

you. I am still trying to forget how to.

elhoek

Junebugs beneath the green shade tree,

          their backs aflame in triple strings of zero. 

 

They know the heat now, like our hands

          do, and as we watch them our eyes

 

slip over each other as if sight could replace

          touch. As if god doesn’t see what we see,

 

all the ways we lie to each other and our

          -selves, trying and failing to forget the taste of

 

mouths seeped in white cast,

          mothers—who peer at us without knowing

 

a goddamn thing. Don’t be afraid of all

          the nights we spent on that pull-out couch,

 

legs laced together as if to let go was to be

          lost in the dark as it pooled outside

 

your bedroom window. Don’t be afraid of my

          name, in the way that I have always been afraid

 

of yours. Everyday I sit on the balcony and wait

          for the sunlight to fold over your shoulders,

 

watch it peel into the cupboards of our kitchen

          and wash all the plates clean of their dust.

 

Junebugs beneath the green shade tree,

          two girls lying in the pale blue of the grass.

 

We know the heat now, like our hearts

          have always known it, and as we watch

 

each other our eyes slip beyond the horizon

          as if sight is not also a kind of touch. As if

 

god knows too much to look past us in the night.

          So many things to look at in the afternoon.

 

So many women holding hands, their hands

          overflowing with flowers, and each other.