Lynn Xu – Our Love is Pure, Two Poems

Our Love is Pure



Makes love and love makes Rome.  In Rome apart

From you

This autumn is a dream.  I fell

Into the sea.  Through the French trees.  My heart

Became a suite in the Carlyle, compels you

To undress.

Foliage and cleavage sail like confetti onto our voyage.





Statues forgetting to crawl into death from the balconies

And battlefields.  Love

From the battlefields.  My blood went to breath

Like a younger poet, who made the dove

Crawl into a handkerchief.  In the face of the poet, it’s important to track

Which features are your own.

So age has brought lace from the sea onto your face.

Say past

These infrared trees, lay darkness sublime as stirred melodies.




Mind evaporates briefly twisting in

Little disappearances

Of meat.  Fish

Meat everywhere mind is


Into your eyes.


Eyes.  Ebi

Shinjo starry


Friends to whom I belong.  Friends who I will wrong.

(‘Our Love is Pure’ was first published in Octupus Magazine, issue 12.)

Two Poems



Vivid.  Sun overhead.

You overdid it.   The ankle was showing.   Lavender takes on

touching directness.   The sensation

and the heavy shadow cast by the string unless carefully disguised

could give you away.   The gun is set aside to show the room

more evenly.   The man was a few hours

from vanishing completely, but I had read everything.   And a good deal of it

was true.   But certain things have a way of returning, for what was done

grows young and large.   Not without principle.   Whose perfection

is the very absence of nature.




Like the movie, which had a balcony in it, but wasn’t really

about love.   Where grass broadened

in broad sun there truth is marked by an X

clutched at the knee.   They projected a ladder onto the one

without anatomy, the sensual one, that though the figures reversed the continents began

resisting language and music were set down before you, meat, instinct, daylight

plunged toward the sky

were to touch each other.   Were to you

vast and transparent.   Tearing your shirt open, in the tall grass, continued

shouting across the bay.


’Two Poems’ were first published in Chax, issue 4.

These poems are appearing in Sassafras after a request from the editor.

Lynn Xu was born in Shanghai. Her poems have appeared in 6×6, 1913, Best American Poetry 2008, Boston Review, Octopus, Poor Claudia, and others. A chapbook, June, was published by Corollary Press in 2006. The recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a William L. Magistretti Fellowship, she is currently the Jacob K. Javits Fellow at UC Berkeley, where she is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature. She holds an MFA from Brown University. With Robyn Schiff, Nick Twemlow, and husband Joshua Edwards, she coedits Canarium Books. Between Stuttgart and Marfa, she divides her time. Her debut collection Debts and Lessons was published in 2013 by Omnidawn Publishing.





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