And the flowers bloomed a violence. Sunflowers burned their heads off. Blue azaleas lit the match. What could be torn was torn: sepals, filaments & anthers split open, entrails hanging; every pistil ground down to the cellular level. Oh, what work it was, what work it took. From the windows of the labor ward, didn’t we see the magnolia trees shred their own petals, turning loss into small, delectable bites? Forget-me-nots, those skinny-stem bitches, wandered around with an unconquerable thirst while purple mallows shivered for more. Oh, what work it was, what work it took. My father told me, when I was born there was a light that was unreadable like the smallest book in the world That day, the daisies sharpened their knives. The poppies, seasonal, bloodied their toes, trying to kick down the perennial vines, the wisterias & honeysuckles & dark ivies, but they couldn’t stop the branching, the incessant multiplying & dividing, any more than they could stop grief from splintering out of love. What work it was to say her name. What work it took to unhold her.
Yun Wei received her MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College, and studied international relations and health economics at Georgetown and London School of Economics. Her awards include the Geneva Writers Group Literary Prizes and Himan Brown Poetry Fellowship. Her poetry and fiction are forthcoming or appear in Michigan Quarterly, the Summerset Review, Poetry Northwest, Wigleaf, and several other journals. She works in global health in Switzerland, where she relies on chocolate and tears to survive mountain sports.