ANDY SIA | Dear Make-Pretender

Winner of the 2021 AWP Intro Journals Project: Poetry Selected by Karen Craigo
"Dear Make-Pretender"
Andy Sia
University of Mississippi MFA Program


1. You were there all along: in the paper fortune teller’s hand, shadow while I was statue.

2. A game can be anything, you say, fashioning some thing into Something.

3. Like guests in a party the years come and go, but you remain, you who are always plotting.

4. Your invitations never stop coming; I find them in the mailbox, inside the hollows of trees, and

when all feeling is gone, underneath my pillow.

5. Once I was children, I ran bright among the trees.

6. Once I was riddle; I had a tail.

7. Here is how your letter begins: “Herewith, the terms and conditions…”

8. Make up the rules and make them fair, Referee.

9. Your game has a sky, a sun, leaves, and the wind, your game peopled with people with their

full, absurd lives.

10. Your designs bound up by the rules of your own making, so hard now—but where there is

boundary, there can be transgression.

11. Now I walk, walk in the open where flowers sprout florets in the shape of the ideographic

heart, atmosphere is a throat lined with fur.

12. Gamemaker, does an uninhabited world make for a world still?

13. At the end of the road is a window.

14. When I peer through, I make out a pavement, rubber and worked metal, oh, those white,

winding wisps.

Andy Sia is a Chinese Bruneian poet. His work can be found in Poetry Northwest, The Missouri Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati and an editorial assistant at Guernica.