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Harrison Jan 2019
I am, will always be, behind your back
That, I will, in the worst time of your life,
Try to be the best part of it, that, you are, to me,
The best thing about here, that, no matter,
How hard, trying, how much it is
I will, spot you, walking across the street.
Running towards, my life like a shelter,
That you are, dumb as ****, with me, at this bar,
At Starbucks with playing cards, at parks, through heavy winters,
Without money, for gas, together above, my house, on the roof,
throwing firecrackers on the driveway, in the neighborhood,
stealing golf ***** from country clubs
you are, a buzz, dank with life, tall as you could be
that so many things have died in my life—
I am happy you haven’t. I am happy—
you are here.
Harrison Jan 2019
Someone always left the canoe sled up on the suburban hill
where my parents lived in Lancaster
when my father was still alive
the hot button of bronze rusted park bench water fountains
mustard grime on fujianeze chemical roads,
factory capes bustling out diet coke smoke plumes
over ornate Qing green shrines, the sky congested
congregates in the priest’s hands
passing out grilled flatbread stained with silver coins
on the shivering blades of velvet grass up top to khaki canals
behind the town where empty six-pack rings swim down
to where the homeless sleep
and feed the water with blistered feet—
but underneath a vale of Caspian light
lanterns red as congealed hearts
the smell of fireworks overtakes gas
and for one night it is the country
my parents remember
Harrison Jan 2019
In the summer,
we run around the house
open all the windows
have the wind sing through our rooms—
that you are a wind chime—
and —
when I pass through you
it is my favorite song
Harrison Jan 2019
you have amnesia
except the painful parts
where I’m a house hiding dynamite
you don’t want me to open up
that,
not an elevator or staircase, your mother’s hands,
your father lies—
I won’t let you down

“the hardest thing is to come back—” he says

no,
the hardest thing is to stay.
Harrison Apr 2017
My grandpa who eats steamed sweet potatoes on foothills textured in green rice patties
dreamt up a tall brick house with a black iron gate
barbwires sprung around the tips of the entrance to keep out thieves
right now he wonders how long he can keep fibbing to my mother—
their rotten hut at the end of the massive foothill, not fleeting
monsoons come early, swells the ground till it gave
a landslide takes four people and a child

that day, red stars hung above Tiananmen square gates
grounded bones came in sacks, white cement hauled by green skin trucks

My grandpa who loves sweet potatoes constructs an ivory wall.

after the revolution, the sun peeks out in montages
peering through the smoke
gunpowder stuck to the tank tire roads
black heads roll off yellow tar dirt into a pit
My grandpa gives his best friend one thousand yuan—
visas for my mother and grandma,
His best friend disappears,

writes my grandpa
an apology and, leaves him a large white sack of uncooked sweet potatoes

light tan, severs in half and plops down on the lumpy cutting board,
dusty orange inners, grandpa tosses them in the boiling water
and later, while gnawing down,
he pretends they are oranges for once

Grandpa, who’s kneeling on our dried front yard with a worn out copper pail
waters the salty earth slowly until it sprouts sugar canes
chops one down, breaks it in half, the sun beats
peering through palm leaves
a viridescent river of silk and pale honey
my small three year arms grab a hand full
sliced by grandpa into pieces neatly placed
in a blue flowered ceramic bowl
years later, I chop a stalk down and chew until
English becomes a second language again
and in my twenties, I grab a hand full
sliced my mom into pieces, places them in a weaved basket
made of reinforced bamboo
I put it in front of my grandpa’s grave
in Fujian on the foggy mountainside of a small retirement town.
The edge of the South China coast covered in a thick plastic smog,
I sit on a stone eating sweet cold potatoes with my grandpa facing outland,
a red kneeing sun, barely visible past the trees
Harrison Jul 2015
It’s morning

The light hurts your eyes:

Yesterday is hurting you: You were moving in.

This is how they welcome you to the neighborhood,

The toothpaste is making everything bitter—

he’s dreaming of rivers

you’re awake staring at the ceiling

at clumps of runaway white paint—

on a pillow that smells like your sister

At the beach

The sand is bleeding—

the water rinses away the stains,

You’re making circles out of sugar

She’s laying on her stomach—

The sun pouring maraschino cherries on back
Harrison May 2015
That exact moment, right before it
You can hear cereal being eaten slowly
And the bones of thin skinned people
Rubbing against each other squeaking
You hear keys crunching into a new house
And you’ll realize the secret happiness of
The other side of the pillow
The secret happiness of kissing in movie theaters
Or the secret sadness of crying when no one’s around
That exact moment, right before it.
Before you throw the ashes into the river
Stuttering like the words before the last words
Trying to make sense the gibberish before the first words
The caterpillars before the love
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