“Aubade, as the Addressee.” A Poem by Julian Gewirtz

From the Collection Your Face My Flag

October 26, 2022  By Julian Gewirtz

In my dream you are a lion shrugging,
gesture rustling into sound: human

and out a thin stream of tap water
poured from my measuring cup

a hand shakes holding, and the heavy
head swings up like a camera

loose on its second-most-used axis,
quick into its viewer: human

turning toward me over small
distances, seconds, sunrise a small

white sheet on the floor and you speak
the first words of the day to me, your voice

a shaking hand, clink of two quarters
folded in, and loosely, the cool of them,

the smell of them, can’t get it out—human
I say in sunlight and shrug.


your face my flag

“Aubade, as the Addressee” from Your Face My Flag, copyright 2022 by Julian Gewirtz, used by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.

Julian Gewirtz
Julian Gewirtz
Julian Gewirtz’s poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry, Boston Review, Lambda Literary, The Nation, The New Republic, PEN America, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. He is also the author of two books on the history of modern China, Never Turn Back: China and the Forbidden History of the 1980s and Unlikely Partners (“a gripping read” –The Economist). He co-edited an issue of Logic Magazine on China and technology and has written essays and reviews for publications including the New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s, Foreign Affairs, Prac Crit, and Parnassus: Poetry in Review. He previously served in the Obama administration and has been Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, an Academy Scholar at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and a lecturer in history at Harvard University and Columbia University.

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