This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features a poem by Julian Gewirtz, dedicated to Liu Xia. For recent reports regarding Liu Xia’s condition, see articles in the New York Times and The Guardian.
seven years inside no visitors and four hours traveling north for one
hour per month with him no more no
phone calls four men watching always
just not the man you want Last fall the pear trees in the courtyard refuse
to ripen—In her verses there are no sounds none—spend a month between
chair and bed without sleep then
two three four five catch
the infection from that skinny guard now it won’t shake—in my eyes
he has always been and will always be an awkward diligent poet—That summer of
crackdown nearly thirty years ago I
bought a bag of apples
one’s malformed tumorous a second head almost a second whole self
inside pushing out skin bulging near breaking—
Travel four hours north
for one hour per month with him no more. Never. Four men watching always
just not the man you want.
for Liu Xia
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