The Second Person | Byron Xu
Hermeneutic: immediacy and intimacy,
you are hurt or you wait. But you
(moreso I) cannot delineate patience
from a fox caught in a steel-jaw trap
(II) from a fig tree, or the wasp
her first choice.
Instead: the backup plan. A safety net.
Safe, as in uncomplicated. As in directions
on not losing yourself,
in the turnpike’s photopsias of arbor-green
exit signs above the sunroof.
An exit, as in to abscond. To fly
for something better. To bite into this world
like an animal. Or a pine,
or hemlock, her teeth needles
and need fresh, the whole world
a white, balmy.
Byron Xu is a Government and Classics undergraduate and Larry E. Temple Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Hunger, Scud, and The Liberator Magazine, and explores themes of doubt, neurodivergence, and theodicy.