Linda Rui Feng’s Poetry

Nov 6, 2015 by

Linda Rui Feng’s Poetry


There to love the afternoon is
to love in the
afternoon. The colors are not the
colors of flowers but of stones. You
follow the salt-soused clay to the
whale carcass wedged headlong
against the scarp, white on
onyx-green, rib by recalcitrant rib.
Your shadow rubs against herons
on the sand, then gamy sunbathers,
hastily dressing, now, to shut
you out of a last glimpse of
a sinewy thigh. Heedless of
flesh and fowl, you come
at last to that orange steely
arch, where the tree-chunks
begin their final dissolution by
the surf, giving up an outline or two daily,
until only their gnarled wood-knot
remain, shaven into a point like
orphaned canine incisors: river teeth.


is to imagine—just
against you lengthwise
on the leeward side of
middle age. Against
the dust that will
sift into the folds of these
sheets where we
lie: salty-skinned,
taut-toed, not


Sunday Drive

The radiation scars were to
disappear in six months.
The coughing—two point five.

But even after it grew back
you stopped dyeing
your hair black with bottled alchemical

youth, with its pungent genie of ammonia, wrapped
life even more snugly about you. Under the new

dispensation of disease we talked meekly of nothing
but nutrition, upkeep—still
unoften we’d shout to the other, the way

a car, with its engine cut, might roll
down this paved hill, my emphatic palm smarting
from pounding the steering wheel, nurse-maid words

kept steely and at arm’s length just so you
might reach out further afield tonight—for
me, for anything—

Unraveling that scroll of hand-
scrawled interdiction,
‘round your wounded core.

Linda Rui Feng lives in Toronto and is finishing a novel about music, migration, and Mao.

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