Poetry Issue 21


Sharon Wang


I once wrote, “I feel disappointed” & a mirror showed, “I feel culpable.”

I broke the mirror, which was also
a hand-signal—I’d sent flashes of light

to the inhabitant who lived a building across and one floor down, & whom I
communicated with by mirror, and always in daylight—


It was like
dropping pebbles into a well.

Two flashes from the other window,
and I never knew what those meant.

it was growing difficult to speak to anyone.


Dear xx. Two slashes.
I stop the sound, I stop the meaning.

An xx where no one can be exposed,
a name that is a grave

and an emptiness waiting to be filled—


Dear xx, and xx,

Some days I (you, too) don’t speak.
Don’t move. Porcelain.

House filmed with floral, & thickets no one
can pry loose without severe threat.
Endless scratching.

Wake at midday w/ a thorn in the mouth, blood,
unable to drink milk. Stirrings:

processions, power propped & discarded,
perforations from an outside world—

Patterns strange to the lens (sensitive),
but mostly difficult

to unravel. Weather weighted & crystalline.

Broken image in a bed of soft, broken belongings.


Can we crawl deep inside
the scratched-out emptiness and fill it

Unmake—the idea of writing towards someone

Be a lash beneath
another’s eyelid

A thorn inside another’s mouth