In those days, I was a teenager.
Watched it all go by fast,
god speed and holy rollers,
pedal to the gas on an eight-lane freeway,
the kind of speed I still dream about,
faster than poetry,
and cooler to the touch
than all the ghost stories you see.
Grandpa dying on the corner,
that was a blow.
He was six feet from the ceiling,
cold planet in the cotton poplars,
the kind of man my mother
never talked about,
except in a silence
stuffed with stars.
Everything he owned came in a shipment.
The box mattress he slept on for
of sleepless nights on his back
trying to catch the fan,
bothered by the summer,
spoke and told me
in every future imaginable,
we end up with less time.
If you had been there,
the moonbeams were the weight
of spilled sugar on the floor.
The mind hung in the basement room,
something sublime suspended
in the air.
we were simply neighborhood kids
falling fast through the open window.
the old man proffers
a blue flame of sorrow,
but says we need not be afraid.
In a hundred years,
even the site of the bombing
becomes a small clearing.
let in sun.
Cynthia X. Hua
Cynthia X. Hua is a writer and artist based in San Francisco. She was previously a National Finalist for the Norman Mailer Awards in Poetry.