Pale Urn for Hydras

Haolun Xu

Am I so bad? All I ever wanted 
was to simply transcend all things.
But life as a whole will abandon me for this.
It has been decided upon arrival that we should live and die as trees. 
But we eat trees too, don’t we.
My special talent.
What exactly is the lifespan of the Tsar Bomba, 
that plume of insincerity
that came erupting out from the sea. 
I know it was a pure rehearsal.
Something powerful that kills is a success.
Something powerful that does not kill, is also a success. 
A century later,
I wonder if this too is me, a test in a bright light. 


I consider the living comforts of a coffin. 
Please, I beckon for the night,
become something,
that always comes winding back.
My fate, which is neither sound or song,
I promise that I am not yet afraid of attachment, 
or so that it breaks me.
I know this to be my insufferable 
and deadly
singular life. 

Haolun Xu was born in Nanning, China. He immigrated to the United States in 1999 as a child. He was raised in central New Jersey and recently graduated from Rutgers University. His writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in Electric Literature, Ruminate, Witness, and more.