About the Feature

Origin Story

After Jenny Xie

Photo by Yash Raut



Once, I was a field of lost lights:
shivering fireflies, the last wink of my eye.

Come the faceless grass called we have
something cold & circular for you to touch.

Where did my limbs go? They thought
of a girl carrying my name far away.

At night the wind repeated, never finishing
her phrase. Night, night, so many eyes—


I never knew how to say except, which echoed
in July hello? Hello? I’m the only one here.

All: the entire world nested in a single
syllable. All: a sound opening the throat.

I’ve been dreaming of the word woman.
It’s bigger than all the daughters it creates.

Where are you? I think my mother is searching
for my ears. Yes, yes. We dwell in listening.


Here’s how the story goes: the moon
was a human with too many ink brushes.

O she said, spreading her arms. Her body
rose until it became a lantern for vowels.

I caught the crescent, held it like I held
the silent children who could’ve been me.

Wake up someone called I promise something
is waiting for you. I: it cradled the next word.

About the Author

Jieyan Wang is a first-year college student at Harvard University. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Pleiades, Passages North, Witness, Baltimore Review, and elsewhere. She is also a reader for the Adroit Journal.