in the summer, we search for edges

            feverish & in the aftermath            everything looked the same. only my
            tongue, moving over the shadow
of a faceless language. time comes to a standstill. august’s mouth  stretched
                                    wide open
               at night we mistake the dip of the heated valley for something more absolute:
      everything suddenly collapsible &
                                    geometric      like it was meant to be. & a brief clarity:
                        I search for solutions in our shadows
bisecting each other’s shadows against the wall
               which is to say obtuse & fractured & pulling apart   & at night I find unusual blades to part
                              the physics of forgetting—the
            slippery, unquiet shape of it. how precise.
            in the aftermath I tighten my grip around the antlers of the washed out sky.
                                                we are so  poised
                        & dissonant in the labyrinth of our own unlearning            of home.
                                                                                    how everything becomes an elegy to
      distance once we looked away long enough            & what to do with
that touchless,            agitated echo but let it run over the piano
 in the dark.            all this
            to say we are in the aftermath, but I am still trying to
                                                      name the odd stiffness with which
                                                                                                glass breaks &
                                                the white noise  in my ears. how ordinary.      tell me again about the birds,
                        circling in another country, their bodies  certain & dark
                                                & dizzying overhead.

Alena Zeng is a student from California. Her work has been recognized nationally by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing the piano or taking long walks.

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1 Response to in the summer, we search for edges

  1. I love how the fragmented feel of this piece lends to the notion of memory and it’s loss. Well done!

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