plain china: best undergraduate writing

Volume One : Issue Two

Double-Wedding Ring


by Katelyn Dokken

Xinniankuaile by Patrick Depuydt Xinnian Kuaile by Patrick Depuydt

Don’t ask me nothing about nothing, I might just tell you the truth. Remember how they took her bloody clothes out of the car, ripped locks of hair: outlaw souvenirs to sit on the pantry shelves. Well it’s like this, you and

me—we could cut a path clean across Kansas and Missouri and Oklahoma and everybody’d know about it. You listen to me. You listen to me.

Something switched inside—a flood to rip up riverbeds, to deliver warm dirt elsewhere, to grow things like magic. The red body of water from which we pull garbage trucks and catfish net-full after net-full. Split buildings downtown, this is what love feels like: spreading electric fires as water enters in through windows, lets the sparks swim until

you go home and sit in your room and think, when and how will I ever get away from this? And now you know

how it is that I can tell you—we are followed by drowned men, dripping. A saw-toothed morning glory stands at her grave and I stuff wildflowers in your mouth so that you will look at my face, take hostage the light, my taconite mouth. Reduce the fever. Please just

listen to me. You listen to me.

My surrender song, plea bargain being: don’t you see I show my inclination, this fire in the belly, by attempting not to love you? Opposite of white flags instead I’ve got my Browning drawn and I can’t speak the last words: Oh, the things I would do to you.

About the Author


Katelyn Dokken

University of Minnesota

Katelyn Dokken finally graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2009 with a degree in English. She hopes to travel a little and attempt graduate school, eventually becoming a teacher.