& how the year ends like a prayer. I wanted to
break my body in two, clean out the beginning months like
clutter. People walk like nothing happened. People wash out
damage with soap suds, as if healing could be systematic.
Even the most beautiful day is silent. In physics I learn that every object in
free fall has the same acceleration—so my body will crash on the
ground at the same time as a feather, a meteor, or both.
How useless this life is, making its way down like any other.
I thought about praying. I thought about renouncing. People moan about
January arriving so soon, reminding them that two years have passed like a first
kiss. People sleep with their body as the blanket, sculpt
loneliness into their own animal. I don’t remember spring other than it was something
missing and light. I misremember winter starting in
November—already so cold the days become nameless. They
open and close with such expertise: another plain
pink sky sinking by six p.m; beauty only in its repetition. Is there still joy in the
quiet moments? Fresh sheets. Hot chocolate. People
refuse to die. People don’t have the right words for anything, so their
silence becomes perfect. What if we held ourselves like
the person we love most? What if we loved like we meant it? Otherwise we
use up time like chalk then cry at the dust on our fingertips. Aren’t we
voracious? Shouldn’t we forgive? In the cruelest
winters, we give. A kiss on either cheek. A bouquet of
xenia. A voice to sing again in. Enough warmth for a body to live. The
year is ending; I can feel it through every open window. I wring
zeal from my unfolded laundry. I dress for new snow.
Sophia Liu lives in Long Island, New York. Her poems and artwork appear or are forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Storm Cellar, A Velvet Giant, Underblong, the Shore, and elsewhere.