The Last Man I Loved Was a Woman

"Green Hills" and "The Unbelievable," two poems by Cynthia X. Hua

hiker on green mountain

The Last Man I Loved Was a Woman

 Green Hills
  
 You asked if the last man
 I loved was a woman.
 She was a brush
 of lipstick
 where the red sun 
 fell into our laps, an aircraft I shot
 into history. Everything felt warm like waiting, 
 alight with cobwebs, unseen and alive 
 in their absence. In the countryside,
 absence filled entire houses, cut families out
 of construction paper, stick figures went missing
 on the way to a plate of dinner.
 Our house swam up
 like a goldfish, asking. 
 Now, my mother asked 
 if my father loved men.
 Did he love them more than this,
 was that it.
 He must have loved 
 a question mark so much 
 it was no longer allowed by the heart. 
 Whatever I am allowed makes a memory.
 You visit the green hills. They are new every year
 like an annual sale, half-off and free. Here 
 is everything untouched, 
 please touch 
 and break and bring
 the stranger of your body back home. 
 You long to look at distance, sometimes beyond.
 Sometimes the car fades away. But the road remains.
 You know there are other homes in the wideness of the low world.
  
 The Unbelievable
  
 O beautiful for unbelievable bodies
 how they swam beside each other
 on the beds of America.
 In snatches of incandescence, 
 could you sense that this was not 
 a single longing but lifetimes
 of caterpillars, how 
 families of goldfish
 came alive in our fast motions.
 How far we both have traveled
 to unite here in dappled heat,
 slowed at the foot of the bed 
 where our sweaters lay piled
 a touch of rainwater seeping in,
 all the coolness that seems now worth
 reaching for the pipe drip 
 under which we met, over what seemed 
 to be hours and years at once.
 Today was stolen and rented
 among clangs of radiators, 
 orchestral squares of urban light
 revealing flowered and fruited gestures 
 of impassioned trespasses, 
 two citizens, being held
 by only one another’s borders. 
 In the water of our languages
 how this country grew suddenly unfurled
 and conceivable, and the morning glories 
 became ours in our arms. 
2

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