Author: Lowry Pei

That Day

after a photograph by David Guttenfelder for the New York Times That girl in the photo, that’s me. No, not that one – the little one huddled on the back seat of the car. Where they’ve stopped there’s no shade the car’s doors are open little girl me is only wearing shorts – that tells you how hot it must have been. I don’t remember it, there are many things I can’t remember I don’t know why, but I can guess. You can see how her sisters, my sisters, are so dying of boredom – like, when will these...

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Despite Everything

  The men left the house in the early morning the young men, and even some of the old I was a child then, I stayed home among the children and women, but one, only one of the women left. I was there in the courtyard with the other children and the laundry and the smell of chickens roasting for the dinner we did not know if they would ever eat but still we had to roast the chickens and wash the sheets and get everything ready for survival or death. That one woman was not my mother but...

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This note pushed through the mail slot      Hey guess what! You’ve died.      I forgot to tell you.      Congratulations on passing over. we all have weird days sometimes I went around the house looking for evidence of my death books missing from the shelves, my closet empty of clothes boxes in the hall marked Give Away now my wife could throw out the letters I saved for decades and never read again the boxes of manuscripts, the negatives and contact sheets of my youth to say nothing of the thoughts that still floated in...

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  a body leaned against mine and now it seems I can never forget it never go my own way without asking where is that body I love? today I woke up dispossessed the mirror I’ve always sailed past has turned the color of someone’s eyes this sound of a foghorn, we heard it together the taste of this changing air we shared now in the afterwards I’m pretending I still take up space in this world the truth is – want me to tell you? or would you rather keep believing you’re the one the only one who’s...

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Fire Weather

(for David Gardella) my friend once made an ocean passage so seasick he could only lie on his bunk and stare working up resolve to drag himself on deck in case there might be tankers my beloved died five years ago this summer I finally quit selling cars last night in an undertow of forgetting my hand sought hers and she held on vanishing submerged until I was holding nothing now half the hours of the day I sleep and every three hours day and night I wake and leave the house, walk up and up a hill of...

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