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Jessica Xu

First Phase

I gag at all the pressures of the spring / I become the body within the backdrop / Say I only wait to realign as a self and all the children are running within their years / This is the age of mistaking blood for gold / Believing the moon to skim fingertips / Eyes all gaping and open for shortcomings / Beautiful nothings / Bodies all collecting an image to hide their own / Girls to mold mouths fitted to the shape of upturn and tongue / Skin to love the way of undress / Repeat of this ignorance; Say love is simplified to bottles before sunrise / To the movement of heat and hands / Say the aftermath drinks up tears / Finds a heart in break and bone / These are the years no one loves / Smoked in without exhale / Churning time before a time’s end


Jessica Xu is a sophomore in high school based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Susquehanna University, and the William Faulker Creative Writing competition, among others. Her work is in or is forthcoming in Glass Kite Anthology, The Apprentice Writer, The Rising Phoenix Review, and elsewhere.

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