2 Poems by Joyce Chong

liminal

dear x,

did you know that
when we touch we are
never really touching,
just sensing the repulsion
of our atoms as they struggle
to be far from one another.

dear x,

when i step towards you
i am really imagining running from you,
gathering distance in my skirts
and grass stains on my knees
to wash off later, to bathe in the
recollection.

dear x,

the sky is a lantern &
i am a match/i must journey
the clouds every morning to
light the sun and signal the day.

this is why some nights are longer
than others/i am bleeding into these sheets,
falling in love with the moon, seething comforters,
a box of burning pines under my bed.

i should have told you sooner.

dear x,

when we are sparrows
will you finally teach me
the meaning of melancholy?
i am cleaning my lungs
for this ascent into the sky
where we will tangle-

hooks in hoops, and my
yarn hands unspooling
just to keep a grip on you.

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“Double Exposure” image by Flickr user gx cheung

simulacrum

when i tore at your skin,
we unfurled like
the thick rinds
of a pomelo,
heavy with dirt
& memory
& callouses
that kept us whole,
wrapped together.

years from now
i will remember you:
sensation in my throat,
lungs erupting in paused time,
a head splitting supernova
just to steer the sound of your voice
into something unfamiliar
& safe.

years from now,
i will have molded you
into a blurred image,
a smoky memory;

& when i stumble,
stutter at the lilt
of your voice,
uncontrived & untouched
by manipulation, i will
learn to love to forget you
again and again
until the imitation
sticks.

00012smallJoyce Chong is a health sciences undergrad living in Ontario, Canada. Previous publications include fiction in Wyvern Lit, Gone Lawn, and The Molotov Cocktail, with poetry in Pieces of Cake and Literary Orphans. Other publications can be found at joyceemily.weebly.com. She tweets at @JoyceEmilyC.