"my name / appears like an angel: / speaking in distorted / & lost hymns, too loud to truly hear."
"I’d filmed a western once in the desert, and I see plant after plant I recognize but don’t know the name of."
"naked and tentative, a bridge across the lake. / I submerged down into the water. / until I was floating just above the bottom."
"I wonder which image you would have liked more: a peaceful canopy of ash leaves under the skin, or the marks of a dozen spears."
"No one will tell my cousin Lena how her father died."
"In Too Bright Light"; "What Can You Say"; "Learn to Speak"
"Let the soil and grit dissolve into the saltwater, clouds of milky brown mud dissipating into each swell of the sea."
"I am old enough now to have seen it happen again, / to know we are always dying / little deaths:"
"People were crying more than they used to, but they still needed to go about their lives for the sake of the economy."
"I / soul-search into corners / that cannot do the / possible ask."
"But there is something particularly adorable about senior dogs. They look sad and tired yet tinged with delight, much like how I feel, tinged with how I always wish I felt."
"have you ever felt this heavy? like last night was a shore. and you’re seaweed."
"You doused your noodles in chili sauce to clear your clogged sinuses, and your ankle was hanging over the edge of the bed, careless and gentle, the tendons relaxed, the soft hollow of skin like stone smoothed out."
"the first news report reports the government’s apathy. the second just says 'citizen.'”
"Prey would be smarter than this. When has a predator ever been dissuaded by a turned back?"
"I was alone I can’t / tell you [ ] / made me feel I can’t tell you"
"I closed my eyes and caught a whiff of Aiko’s Dove anti-dandruff shampoo. For a second, the idea that my absence hurt her too filled me with a bestial joy, then faded to pain at the idea of her pain."
"nothing but teardrop comets; tell her i taste her sticky rice, tell her i remember: / her silken-sleeve ribbons, her bamboo biscuits"
"This is what also delights: the stripe on the bottom of the pool, the stripes on the side of my suit, the snap of the rubber cap, my spine snapping into the turn, my feet snapping at the wall."
"With that, the video ends, breaking the spell before I can taste the sugar on my tongue, before I can take a scorching sip of tea."
"On the desk pencils are scattered. A laptop rests half open, the current tab on the internet opened to a WikiHow article about resurrection ceremonies. An unopened envelope lays on the desk, addressed to you."
"So I try / mimicking what my mother did. Endure. Never say / never, I learn."