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slouched across lampshades that shed light [lies],

you speak of the last time you lived:

your godfather’s funeral,

confronted by mortality.

                                                                                        ‘this is why i must go back,

                                                                                                  that cabin by the lake,

                                                                                                    why did we leave it?’

i too want to tread

that water from 3 summers ago,

when we were light                                                                  enough to be god

starved                                                                                         enough to feed on

                                              our own, each other’s


dead                                                                                                              in advance

                            and we don’t condemn a fleeting thing

did you live then?

                                                                                                                   ‘i want to be –

and how misleading is Being?

did summer rouse in you

an infant

– like wonder –

& we dance

& sell our souls

to a stranger

lying on his back,

in the dark

[perverted world]

the voice of your godfather –

the marsh swallowed that place long ago.

                                                                                                          ‘so i’ll drink until it

                                                                                                  rises from the ground

                                                                                                    and i’ll leave you too’

3 summers ago and i still remember

but last wednesday, when my reflection

saw yours in the mirror,

i could not pick up the fragments without

slitting my eyes

and you speak of tempting fate,

what do you know of it any more

than a fetus with a sickle in his hands –

the blasphemy of knowing!

yet we know nothing,

desire nothing,

give birth not to a star,

born not of chaos, or

of Being nor nothingness –

you cannot renounce

the duality of annihilation

& nurture, to me you do both –

what is there except the eternal now

you can’t evade?

for eternity

my eyes will be

my nailbeds will be

this lexical dance will be

our consciousnesses will be


                                                                                                                             in Being.

                                                                                            you’ve packed your bags

in Being i am,     nothingness

             so unbearably light...

Sichen Li is a current high-school junior. In her free time, she enjoys reading literature, writing poetry, exploring philosophy, and taking photos on her analog camera. Her favorite book is the Master and Margarita, and she aspires to be an author someday.

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