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let us erupt in feathers (tangible things)

CAS for Database

Iva Hua

Spokane, WA, USA

Mead High School

Poetry

i.

in the deepest corners of the night,

i find myself dreaming of a girl,   her hands the same as mine,

vallied & split-open, fingers splayed & torn, ready for the reaping.


& drowning   in the slow-crystallizing light, her name burrowing

somewhere deep in my mouth,

i wake up and try to forget. i  wake up and hold onto all the

tangible things.   i forget  how i was wrought.

how she was wrought.


we were made of hope & wishes,  white-hot & ready to burn,

tributes to a pyre,  sacrificed  for the sake of other love.


ii.

teeth sharp as blades,  my throat a cavernous,  void thing,

i will hold the memory of pearls  under my tongue,
as if i were an oyster,    ready to be plucked open.


the girl & i,  we kept our pain locked away and secluded,

coating the agony in luster,  held knives to our lips  and shucked them apart,

spilled each and every sorrow onto the wet sand.

the girl from my dreams     does not remember my body, my hands.

and still,  she is my only solace,  her face open to the white-gray sky,

catching rain in her mouth,  parched   & blissful.

in the midst of these storms,   i crave her body,

she  the split-lipped,

she the only color remaining.


iii.

descent is never marked by the true.

only we the sinful creatures,   hearts askew,   hungry & pained,

only we make it to the  top.

i have climbed & climbed,  watched the girl skip across

the  eroded,   run-ragged cliffs,  oblivious to her bloodied knees.


let us erupt in feathers,

i want to tell the girl from my dreams.

we could become monstrous.


we could be free.  i want to be so much less than   what i am,  something

small & fragile  cradled in the nest.    let us erupt in feathers, i wish as we jump,

synchronous, skimming past  the horizon.


the girl in my dreams,  she stretches a hand out,

those fragile  knees still marred,


& with the rising, violent wind,

we take flight.


iv.

when I wake, tear-streaked,

her name marked on my tongue, i stumble to the bathroom,

find her in my reflection,  tinted in fluorescent light.

the girl,   in all her broken glory,

there.


she  has replaced me  in the mirror.

she moves of her own accord,     blood trickling of her nose,

fathomless eyes  holding my own.


& when she lifts a hand up to the glass,

my own, vallied &  split-open,

aching & reverential,  rises to meet her.


let us erupt in feathers, she murmurs.

let us erupt in feathers.

EDITORIAL PRAISE

Ever since I read the lines “we could become monstrous / we could be free,” it has been impossible for me to get this piece out of my head. In “let us erupt in feathers (tangible things),” the poem’s speaker faces a girl found in dreams—a figure that is both a distant, blurry photograph and a vivid mirror reflection. Through a fight between harsh, solid tangibility and the freedom of taking flight, this poem sculpts a powerful narrative on personhood, and the poignant lack thereof.

Ivi Hua is an Asian-American writer, dreamer, and poet. A Best of the Net nominee, her work is published or forthcoming in Juven, [sub]liminal, and the Eunoia Review. In the summer of 2022, she attended the Adroit Journal’s Summer Mentorship as a Poetry mentee. You can find her @livia.writes.stories on Instagram.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR