by E. Lily Yu
No more the millionth exhalation of silver
over extinguished dandelions
or the jar lifted lead-lipped from the pond
since the once of a full-fed wish
bites deeper than desire's lions,
redder and rawer, and scars.
For what when the lamp is empty
though my lap brims over with emeralds?
Ever after the silence
like the persistence of oaks pressing down
or the argument of stone.
Like the odor of unseen water.
Queens fall to cobwebs, arras to chaff,
love fades, the roof leaks, the laundry heaps up.
Yet we cannot forget
the smoke, smell, and sweet impossibility of it,
blue fireworks, frankincense, thunder, cymbals, and we
sicken and again abandon the familiar
for the road running nowhere, the quest
with nothing at the end of it, and the wind
speaking in slow syllables the dissolution of leaves.
Westward through declining light
you might have glimpsed us, rich and ragged,
we wanderers among miles of dandelions
E. Lily Yu is a student at Princeton University. Her poems and flash fictions can be found in Goblin Fruit, Quick Fiction, and Jabberwocky 5, and will appear in The Kenyon Review Online and Electric Velocipede. She likes the mask she's wearing now just fine.
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