these are the ghosts but these ghosts are not yours By Amanda Wan

these are the ghosts but these ghosts are not yours

I say give me the peaches
found in gardens of spring evenings
so far from the eyes that feed you            so far

we stand on thin branches and have a little less
than more.                                           you’ve seen me
gather the peaches from your white hands while staring
at your feet as you muttered about the limits

of my compassion. still I can’t stop falling into
the draft that blows in from an unfeeling atlantic sea

(how can I be if I’m a brush stroke bundled
in silk robes that were made far from my
grandmother’s fishing village)

(how can my softness flow when I can’t
stop thinking about how you steal ghosts
from their own deaths and make them yours)

(how do I see if I am only ever your vision or else your
vision torn apart, always a violence to the end)

you’ll eat these peaches and forget how to
bring the pits home, where in another lifetime they grew–
all this a shrill call to you from nowhere, and

soon I know you’ll document a mania that pushes urgently
against the stiff curtain that is my voice         until then, return to me
these ghosts, those peaches from the gardens of spring evenings
so far from the eyes that feed you            so far

By Amanda Wan

Biography:

Amanda Wan is a student of Honours English Literature and Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies (ACAM) at the University of British Columbia, which is located on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples. She was raised by immigrant parents on unceded, ancestral Coast Salish lands, where she gratefully reads, writes, loves, and daydreams.

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