Jenny Qi

First Spring, 2011

Everyone I love is dead or dying.
The sun shines garishly bright.

The ice is melting. Things are growing.
Birds are fucking in the sky.

It’s too cold and too warm,
and the earth keeps turning.

Pink flowers burst from bare branches,
too eager to last the spring.

They look absurd showing off
as if beauty still matters.

I want to tell them stop
wasting their sweetness.



Jenny Qi is the author of the debut poetry collection Focal Point, winner of the 2020 Steel Toe Books Poetry Award. Her essays and poems have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Literary Hub, Tin House, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from Tin House, Omnidawn, Kearny Street Workshop, and the San Francisco Writers Grotto. She grew up in Las Vegas and now resides in San Francisco, where she completed her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology.

"First Spring, 2011" appears in Focal Point and has been reprinted with permission.