Christina Xiong, Sorting Season

Christina Xiong

Preoccupied with thoughts of my own
death, I venture into eaves,
extract the mammoth plastic tote
wedged behind flatware and sewing needles.
The corkscrew stored here half-a-decade meant
sobriety and sacrificing my near-yearly foray
into the mass grave of incomplete suicide
notes, letters from dead relatives, forests
of declarations. Old growth trees strewn with ink,
the woody scent of their pulp familiar as grandma’s
house, like talcum powder and musty guest sheets.

Obsolete as photographs from my first
wedding, that pale girl of twenty with a careful
stranger’s half-guarded expression.
It’s been recommended
I burn the lot. All these skeletons
collapse into ash. Faded penciling in teenaged journals
no one will ever love me what did I know
then of ever?
A silent bride in expired
photographs, of her I know nothing.

Bio: Christina Xiong holds a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from The University of North Carolina, Asheville, and is currently pursuing her MA in English with a Poetry Writing concentration at Southern New Hampshire University. Christina is a Certified Story Medicine Facilitator. Writing has always been her center. She has called many places home, but she has put down roots in Western North Carolina over the past fifteen years.

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