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I’m trying to remember your face
at the critical moment of impact:
your eyes, blinking through darkness,
crinkled and creasing at the edges,
brown irises hard and dark and bold;
your mouth, curling into a sudden smile
at the surprise of it all, the sharp thrill;
your jaw, clenched for the final blow;
hands, fingers letting go of the wheel,
letting go because it is too late now
to change course, switch lanes, go back.
There is no going back, there is only
remembering what was. And I cannot.


Joanna Chen is a poet and journalist. She has published articles in Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and BBC World Service. Her poetry and poetic translations have been published most recently in Poet Lore, The Bakery and Recours au Poemes.Please visit her at

© 2013, Joanna Chen

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