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How Can I Ask For His Forgiveness Now?

How Can I Ask For His Forgiveness Now?


Abode the weight of my phone
and the funeral at the other end

of the world. Acquainted with the new
bed sheets by tepid saline and an instinct to sink

and hide. My prayers are not for you, Grandpa;
what petrifies me is I think you knew. I was irrelevant

when you were dying. You lived in my tunnel
vision. I thought you’d be the last one to become one

of my future children’s ancestors, but now that I lie
mourning for you, my Grandma’s hands facile and warm still, you

are gone first. I am betrayed, albeit I
am still breathing. I pray—scared of the sacrosanct

in your liver who thinned you down violently,
ached your bones before grinding them

to ashes in your field and declared you a stranger
to the world that I still call home—I pray

for you to go to heaven, so that when
my time is due, I don’t rot in hell.

Winniebell Xinyu Zong is a poet and djembe player. She was born and raised in an industrial city in China. Zong holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Franklin and Marshall College, where she received Nolt Music Award and Honaman Japanese Study Fund. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Rigorous, NYMBM, and Little Patuxent Review. She now mentors high school students on college access at College Advising Corps.