Mimosa Pudica

Michelle Chen

 plant apoplectic
in the river of time what I thought
 sweet water and thread
lifting clear pink satellites
 field risen, rippling
in tune the blue coast
 if a drift face I hope you get
how to lead someone to water
 there’s no other paper
that sleeps like me
 dipping as if
to fit into bottles
 in the dark heat rolling
thin sleeves of green
 when touched the fold
I found sway not shy
 if I close when touched
move move then drink
 half-full, the waiting
 evaporated spaces
 guess attack or death-play
the sleep’s root in reflection
 if the best example of holding
 is a moon and a barrel

Michelle Chen is an eighteen-year-old poet, writer, and artist who takes inspiration for her writing from her home, New York City, as well as from her travels. She was born in Singapore and spent her early years in China before immigrating to the United States at the age of four. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Bat City Review, The Sharkpack Poetry Review, Rattle, Across the Margin and elsewhere. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, YoungArts, Foyle Young Poets, Ploughshares Emerging Writers, the Lancaster Writing Award for Literary Criticism, and the City College of New York, among others. She has performed her work at venues including Lincoln Center, Sotheby's, the National Arts Club, and the NYC Poetry Festival, and has attended writing workshops at Amherst and the Iowa Young Writers' Studio with the support of the National Society of Arts and Letters.

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