Yuxi Lin


Yuxi Lin is a Chinese American writer, AAWW Margins Fellow, and winner of the Breakout 8 Writers Prize. Her writing has appeared in Poetry, The Washington Post, The Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She has received support from Millay Colony for the Arts and the Djerassi Residency. Yuxi graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College and received her MFA from New York University, where she was a Lillian Vernon Fellow. She lives and teaches in New York. Source

I Used to Pray

to any God that made me

feel ashamed. 


Girls are takers,

Mama used to say.


I took every lesson     

she gave me, learned 


to swim out of my body 

& abandon it.


With incense I burned pages

until a perfect eye stared back. 


God drilled a hole to make us see. 

See? Mine is filthy.  


He, too, eyed me 

each day afterschool,   


clutching the line to the lure.

When I walked by 


he’d catch me & groan     

Oh you’ve grown so heavy. 


Like his breath, his fingers 

were meaty & thick.


For years I weighed myself 

then I weighed myself down.


In the water, my scaled body 

lay bent & murky.


Listen — Don’t believe in God 

unless he admits 


he was always watching.

Look back at him. 


If he had my courage

he’d choose to be born 


a daughter. 

What am I begging for? 


I have two mouths.

One remembers.


Neither forgives.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:


Body & Body Image

Faith & Hope


Memory & The Past


Literary Devices:


A device in which the last word or phrase of one clause, sentence, or line is repeated at the beginning of the next.

Bleeding Title

when the title of a poem acts as the first line


two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered