Dream with Many Mounds of Grass

by Hua Xi

BWR 48.2 Poetry Contest Runner-Up

In my childhood, a house
made entirely of grass.

That was where the people learned to go on.

I have a memory of my aunt in the doorway, arms full of grass.

Filling a water jug full of grass.
Lighting the evening grass.

I am not sure if this is a memory
or something I made up using language.

Something I read in a book made entirely of dirt.

The kind you read
because you are buried.

Because beneath the over
is the under.

I have a memory where my mother takes me by the hand
and we bury our mouths in the soft blades of grass.

And wherever the wind walks through us, we scream
with our slightly swaying motions. Green with miniature yellow flowers,
nameless and wall-papered with dew.

The pauses in our conversation feel just like this.

They rise and fall like the green hills. Like how
the future prepares us for the past.

Oh, I lit your goodbye like a candle!

The grass of the world is luminous and full of surrender.
The pages of the grass turn and the world turns.

Everything is brave and unfinished.
Every unfinished thing is innocent

because it does not know how it will end.

I wandered, without time or a coat, and repeated the word “love.”

A fragment of the oldest surviving poem.

Muddy and crude like soil.

I grow a body of grass
in the absence of a landscape.
When the night strolls through me,
I make my little noises.

Because the earth is still not yet over.

Because the ending is a grass that grows down and then up.

Underneath the everything is the else.

At the beginning of the old man is the child.


Hua Xi is a writer and artist. Their poems have appeared in The Nation, Boston Review and American Poetry Review.