Mackenzie Duan


Jen Mei Soong

California, November

Mackenzie Duan

The morning after the city left,
we woke up

& there was frost jacketing the grass
blades. I thought of my friend

who was always wanting
a white buzzcut. Far away,

the new white peak of Mount Diablo
wailed, so bright it sunk a channel

through my heart. It never snows
on the coast but I’d kill

for these sunsets. I’d change
if I could. Run

my eyes up the mountain slope
& memorize arriving

at the ozone, the thinnest air,
unbleachable. That winter, we spilled

our money on espressos,
yellow puffers, solitude. We followed

petals to our pillows, then slept
on bellies like hot

coals. The mountain
rung on. I ate

my own heart. In that cold.
In this terror. So coastless

and calcium I’d die for it.

Mackenzie Duan is a student from the Bay Area. Their work appears or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, Frontier Poetry, Electric Literature, and elsewhere.