As We Watch Things Burn by Yixuan Wu
CW: Graphic violence
Let us gaze at the dawn
that charred a desert in the sky,
watch as the rising sun bleeds
into the horizon, dyeing the Yangtze
in its scarlet hues.
We saw streams of men in yellow
uniforms braid into the rubbles
of Nanking, singing their
traditional swings as a passing tank
ruptured through Zhongshan Road.
An early December snow drizzled down,
wrinkling into the what’s left of hellfire.
Through our vision, we shudder
as the men arrive and lineup in succession
in the field outside.
Japanese for 5 yen.
Chinese and Korean for 2 yen.
And we were curled on our
backs on a wooden bench, like
how a woman would give
birth, naked legs forking out the
measure of an angel’s snapped wings.
We have parted, and the repeated
creaking of the bench became our
new prayer for our benevolent
Yixuan Wu is a Chinese national who currently lives in the Philippines. His works have appeared on The Rising Phoenix Review and One Art Poetry. He hopes to spread awareness of Chinese heritage and culture through his poems.