Xinyuan (Joyce) Pu

“How can you hold so much
suffering
in me?”
i asked my body.

water ran back into my eyes

i saw the first streak of morning light,
my body wanted me to sleep but my brain kept me awake.

crying is a bad thing

i turned on the tap:
cold water
running
His depression grew into us,

my chest choked as you tightened your hold around it and each time that followed your
grip got tighter and tighter until my heart exploded (i thought) i thought a person could
only hold so much pain in her body but i was holding it

Am still holding it, silently.


Tap turned.
My body asks me:
“Why do you hold so much in me then?”

water pushed out to the world from the corner of our eyes

I wanted to sleep but you kept me awake,
eyes longing to close when sunlight crept in.

crying has never been a bad thing

You have left him.

out staying up all night out self-condemning out messy breakups out dead knots out
heartache and after the pain in cuddling with your dogs in green tea ice-cream in
laughing in talking in mornings of birds’ song after a long, sweet sleep

let it all out, and then let me in

You will do better next time.


Xinyuan (Joyce) Pu is a writer, feminist, and theatre student from Shanghai, China. She has also published a one-act play Contagion under Helicon’s Share Your 2020 Story.