Janice Lin

(false awakening)

youth is greeting the eclipse on my ceiling; bluefire
blossoms at the rim of stone that wrings the sun dry. see,

i’d lay this body under nacre if it meant
that pearls would surface like dolphins underwater; i’d

bury words like red-rimmed eyes & grasp the blooming scales
of moths that flail in viscous light. the trouble is,

it’s always the obvious places, but no one dares to look. the outside
of an eye that bears emotion, but few betray

ordinary & dare to play god. though ambrosia murmurs
in our throats, mortal hands burn rust-red in silver & bronze.

the mask we fasten to our ears is fragile. like a sheen of moss,
fog shrouds the canvas walls in longing. i long

for the dreaming when the quest(ion) runs dry & the
people’s breaths sting in their throats. when the rain drips

in my eyes, the annular flowers wilt &
the sun swallows the polar lights.

Janice Lin is a student from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work is forthcoming or published in Polyphony Lit and the National Poetry Quarterly, among others. In her free time, she enjoys world-building, theorizing about TV shows, and trying new boba shops with her friends.

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