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Poetry Feature: “Recovery” by Amy Meng

In those days thought hung
like one rotted bulb of light
quiet and cold past glowing.

I loved a man who moved
over me like a horsehair bow
bent on still and silent strings.

Each morning sour cans lined
the shelves and my eyes slid oily over.
We smoked naked at the windows

and swallowed oysters for breakfast,
greedy as salt biting tongue.
I lost track of myself, but nothing else

seemed to forget what it was.
The street remained a hard back.
The accident on my leg healed

into a muted seam.
I wanted love to be an end
to the days, which I kept

walking through,
door after door.
Some nights the man hauled

into wakefulness.
I looked in him for something
more than mere sensation

which is what ghosts are.
That searching was almost
like being seen.


Anni Liu (Poetry Editor): The poem moves and turns with assurance, revealing details that both clarify the relationship and maintain its privacy: “I loved a man who moved / over me like a horsehair bow / bent on still and silent strings.” Loneliness is rendered so viscerally that its textures have become embedded in my skin, creating sensations that feel as immediate as one of my own memories.


This poem appeared in Indiana Review 37.1, Summer 2015.

Amy Meng holds degrees from Rutgers University and New York University. She is the author of Bridled (Pleiades Press, 2018) and a Kundiman Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in publications including: Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, New England Review, and Narrative Magazine. She currently lives in Brooklyn.