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  You could have a big dipper   

7-11 by Ana Padilla Fornieles

CW: Allusions to death


January first, two k twenty-one,

four a.m. woven with

tinsel icicle,

of men and women in joy

so bright and cherished

we’ve emerged huddled

drawn into the kindled night

feasting and dancing

pissing and puking

pledging to lessons learned

taking an oath that

the past is now gruel

the dead may be a plumb line

today onwards clean

tomorrow, tenfold

enough made us whole

whole we’ll go forward


January first, two k twenty-one,

Beixinqiao ‘til five.

tepid genmaicha

got you a three-legged blue seat,

dairy chills your back.

the truth as follows:

time is too humble a force

to lug all at once.

if or when are all

too heavy of promises

to extort from days.

today’s found you here

you could be left forever

waiting for your turn

for love to linger

light like water drops

easy on your back


January first, two k twenty-one

four forty facing

sugar malt cookies,

life and loss, how to get home

in time for more grapes

you text your mom, say:

sometimes this city chews me

you text a friend, say:

it spits out my bones

she texts back and says:

it bites gently, still there?

he sends a sunset:

here my baby was happy

while I thought of death

nothing ever lasts,

everything’s been,

in and out we swirl.

at home, your hands run

under hot water, in time

to zoom yours and toast.

dawn’s reached you at last.

wherever you will wake up

this day will find you.


Ana Padilla Fornieles is a literary translator, author and artist based in Beijing, where she is part of Spittoon Cultural Collective. Her prose and poetry can be found in Beijing Underground, The Shanghai Literary Review, Womanhood, A Shanghai Poetry Zine, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine and Second Chance Lit. Twitter @satoriglass IG: @wistfulberry

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