By Yun Wei
Monday markets egg-dropped
in the summer camp race,
and somewhere a global circuit grid
slowed, blinked, shorted.
Where did the treasure go?
I know I could never read this map.
Now at my desk on a Monday night,
drinking from a sweating glass,
I think of summer camps, of gathering scrapes
and grass on knees, of my bike crumbling
on hills when I misplaced gravity,
of how as I grew longer,
the distances became dizzier,
the way the ground shrank from
the constant state of forward,
my body in straight lines
walking through a city without maps,
because falling means crumbling
means dismantling, look
how I’ve learned to mark
every step with vertigo.
No one tells you then
that there’s no such thing as going back.
Yes the Monday markets fell
into a Chinese puddle
of oil, of iron, of copper,
but the only markets I knew
were those of cabbage leaves
crushed under sole,
and sidewalk glue from fish guts
even after they rinsed the street
and closed the stands,
after the woman selling salt-boiled peanuts
shook her barefoot daughter awake
to walk home and I walk home
by my father’s hand:
the only map I knew to read.
Yun Wei received her MFA in Poetry from Brooklyn College and a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Georgetown University. Her writing awards include the Geneva Literary Prizes for Fiction and Poetry and the Himan Brown Poetry Fellowship. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in decomP Magazine, Roanoke Review, Apt Magazine, Word Riot, The Brooklyn Review and other journals. For the last few years, she had been working on global health in Switzerland, where she consistently failed at mountain sports. Visit her website at The Pomegranate Way.
Also by Yun Wei: “We the People Who March.”
Photo credit: Gianni Dominici via a Creative Commons license.