Umbrella Movement / September 2016 (Issue 33)

Shells in the Soil

by Henry Wei Leung

There was a burying of plants.
I sought cover, not knowing the rain
was only wind shuddering through leaves.
If I become the light, I will only seem
to move, but will not move,
while an oak fern closes its fingers
and I fill its hollow palm. I ask
to remain unmarked;

I am an island
blooming rust.

The rain has stopped.
Dear mayapple, your umbrella is burnt.
I see your veins from below. You alone
are browning here (a robin trills with twigs
wreathed in its beak, a fly treads water
in terrible calm), and I thank your folding
like a wet flag: may your dying
always grant us shade.
 Henry Wei Leung is the author of a chapbook, Paradise Hunger, which won the 2012 Swan Scythe Press Poetry Prize. He earned his degrees from Stanford and the Helen Zell Writers' Program, and has been awarded Kundiman, Soros, and Fulbright Fellowships. He finished a year of research on the literatures and protests in Hong Kong, and is continuing this research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa toward the completion of a PhD. He is currently the Managing Editor of the Hawai'i Review.
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