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At first, I just notice the small
white dots in pairs that look
like holes. But then I see
the pencil grid underneath.
Suddenly, I remember that                                   
there is a middle of the day.
I’ve spent years considering
the beginning or ending.
The dots hold on, small
headlights looking out at
me. Why keep the grids after
they have been used? This has
something to do with desire.
How to reconcile the fact that
I want to make art but don’t
want to be criticized. That I
want to be loved but I don’t


want to open my mouth.
That I want to be saved but
I don’t want to kneel down.
Pessoa said, In order to
understand, I destroyed myself
The dots are on the lines,
not in the rectangles, as
if to say that beauty must
destroy something. Agnes left
some lines uncovered on the
borders, showing us how
happiness is made. How
even happiness is made by
writing something down,
then leaving it exposed for
all to see. Is it possible to
be seen, but not looked at?


Victoria Chang‘s recent books include The Trees Witness Everything (Copper Canyon) and Dear Memory (Milkweed). Obit (Copper Canyon) was named a New York Times Notable Book, a Time Must-Read Book, and received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN/Voelcker Award.




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