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Inventory for Spring

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Feeling rich for one moment for using money as a bookmark
Feeling deceitful for making public some opinions while neglecting others
Feeling disordered at the sight of three statues conspiring in a row
Feeling insufficient for having a lukewarm reaction to news
Feeling important for having been offered a seat at the table
Feeling apologetic for nonetheless tuning out an argument
Feeling blue for identifying some people who don’t respect you
Feeling like a knife slipping into a pool of water for bearing 
disagreement
Feeling redundant for moving in a similar direction as others
Feeling angry for imagining the opening of the passage yet 
unopened for you
Feeling antisocial for declining further missives from home
 

Source: Poetry (February 2017)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Poetry magazine

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Inventory for Spring

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  • Born in China, poet Wendy Xu was raised in New York and Iowa. She attended the University of Iowa, where she earned a BA, and she completed graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Xu’s collection You Are Not Dead (2013) was profiled as one of the year’s best debuts by Poets & Writers Magazine; her second collection of poetry is Phrasis (2017). She is also the author of the chapbooks I Was Not Even Born (2013, coauthored with Nick Sturm) and The Hero Poems (2011). Her poetry was featured in The Best American Poetry 2013, and selected for a Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry by D.A. Powell.

    Xu frequently uses line breaks as sharp hinges in single-stanza, meditative poems that embrace the ephemeral nature of intimacy. “Xu’s poems deftly navigate the space between the often-obscured personal and the dominant external. The concrete world is in the spotlight while the personal and confessional take place off stage—far away...

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