The Total Number Of Things That Matter Is On The Rise ||| from Phantom Limb

Someone right now is a nervous wreck biking
against the dark ribbon of a highway like some kind

of quiet disaster. What is up with everyone’s apartment
infested by bees? Why did you instead gently

ease the door back into its frame? How yesterday
a street magician produced a blossom of pennies

from his sleeve that impressed us all. Then a bird
he let go. Then a never-ending ribbon flowing

to a single white rose which he tucked behind the ear
of a little girl. How often will you demand

silence before the reveal? If that sprawling road
never leads my friend to the sea this hurricane

surely assembles worse on my doorstep. Someone
right now thinks to remove his slippers before hurrying

to the phone. Some terrible little bees dive
into your soup from the urgent rim.



Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013), and two chapbooks including I Was Not Even Born (Coconut Books), a collaboration with Nick Sturm. Recent work has appeared (or will appear) in The Best American Poetry, POETRY, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast,The Volta, and elsewhere. She teaches writing in Western Massachusetts.


The Total Number Of Things That Matter Is On The Rise was originally published in Phantom Limb‘s Issue 2 from Winter 2012.

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