An Account of These Two Years

Image of birds flying in unison over the bay

Richard Lee via Unsplash



you see, I wouldn’t call myself a poet
as I have not thought poetically in some time
like a flower is petals, stem, and powder
all flowers falling under the shade of wordsworth’s daffodils

but I think now I can return to
seeing a flower as a thing sharing this room
crossing fields and oceans to be planted here next to me,
I who have come here from afar
born of boats and planes,
of papers urgently signed,
jades taped to arms hidden under thick coats,
oil of fingerprints layered on government screens,
a chance meeting in a college cafeteria

I have no green thumb but
I sing to the flower when I pluck its deadened leaves
its oils staining me
the sheer ease of this stark against the difficulty of its being here

[did you know palm trees were not supposed to be in california?]

But here we are
And here this is—



Lillian Lu is an English Ph.D. Candidate at UCLA. Her research focuses on British Romanticism, imperialism, and the novel. Her fiction writing has appeared in Immersion: An Asian Anthology of Love, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction (Rice Paper Magazine 2019) and her non-fiction in The Rambling, Whiter: Asian American Women on Skin Color and Colorism (NYU Press 2020), and upcoming in Eighteenth-Century Fiction.