It is February and I realize all dreams die. 
My pen grows throats the size of Polaris, 
and I stare: the havoc in the snow, the 

moss over the cathedral’s surface, and 
the images: Uncle Shin, hand jolting out 
of the sewage, onto the shore. The way 

he leapt: his last suit heavy with evening, 
his skin pruning like a razor, the singing 
of men gashing in a language he longed 

to understand. And first there was hunger, 
the kind you could see. And there—Uncle, 
hands propped among the fireflies, light 

reversing from the sky to his chest, hears 
the song, pulls us up from fishing hooks 
by the chorus. It is February. The barn 

moltens beneath our palms. The river, 
remembering our prayers, unfreezes. 
And there—Uncle searching for the 

thread, sweat indecipherable from dew, 
obsidian rolling in the river. It is February 
and I remember that even the grass can 

be a cry for help. There—the same 
song, blazing through a man’s heart as 
he drives closer and closer to rescue,

returning as always to where it must be. 

CINDY XIN is a high school student in California who loves writing poetry, listening to music, and staring at the sky.