Lying under the moon, your chest brushes against the dark
like a swollen eyelid. Through a lack of skin, the light burrows,
planting its white lesions, wolf teeth. I am tempted to understand
this as beauty: a pale mouth feeding on the body even
when the mind has left. For interfaces, the reflection of light
is either specular or diffuse—either retaining energy, or losing
image. I am wondering if we are seen
only because we reflect the shapes of others.
So it follows, the night drains your white-
fuzzed organs as if suckling the brackish tongues
from oysters. Was it you who said:
not yet, I can die anytime
and clenched a cloth between your teeth?
A lack of light before an excess of image.
With this night, your skin accumulates weft,
waxes porous like the brimy scalp of the sea.
The bodies of a million unseen objects float
through without notice,
neither emitting nor reflecting light.
I am wondering
who will bear witness to an image
that exists only in the eyes of others?
Emily Liu (刘菡馨) is a student at Neuqua Valley High School. Their most recent poems appear or are forthcoming in DIALOGIST, Hominum Journal, and The Phoenix. They have received recognition from the National YoungArts Foundation, International Hippocrates Young Poets Prize, Pfeiffer University, Poetry Society, and Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, among others.