Sexy Tree - Wendy Xu

Not being dead is neither worst nor best case scenario
It is just regular like you would see a beautiful orange chicken
I have three primary categories for things that happen
The first being AMAZING
This is where people and colors usually go
I am moving the pancake around on the plate now
Because breakfast is when I am least ferocious
In fact sometimes I feel like the entire morning
Just happens to me
If I am able to think a poem I congratulate myself
People can be so rotten is what I think next
As the light moves to a different window
I will be happy today if I can touch a furry plant
It doesn’t seem acceptable to broadcast that
It is even less OK to have poor self-esteem
You don’t even know that you love me in this sweater
The place that I live feels important
I should screen-print that on a banner
It will be so dramatic when I display it on my porch
The trees are especially sexy today
What I mean is no I do not take it back



My favorite part of the day is the first hour or so that I’m awake–that fuzzy and free logic of morning. It is so associative and pleasurable, it always feels to me like how a poem works. I wrote “Sexy Tree” when I was thinking a lot about declaration, and how one declaration leads to another in a string of inquisitional thinking, of associative leaping as a structure for discovery. Poetry declares in a way that “the news” does not declare, and in this way does not require retraction. On a plainer note, I was eating a pancake in the morning and looking at the light dance. The tree was so unbelievably sexy.





Wendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013) and two chapbooks: The Hero Poems (H_NGM_N) and I Was Not Even Born (Coconut Books), a collaboration with Nick Sturm. Poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Black Warrior Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. She co-edits and publish iO: A Journal of New American Poetry / iO Books, and lives in Western Massachusetts.

For more information about Wendy, see her website.

“Sexy Tree” appeared alongside other work from Wendy Xu in the Fall 2013 issue of The Pinch.