Deconstructing a Blueprint for Enemies to Lovers
Lexington, Massachusetts, USA
Lexington High School
& a house boned by fire says: we aren’t
supposed to be here. today, I screw you
into a bathroom light, pressing your palms
on mine to show you the weathered threads of
my inheritance, homegrown fields where I scavenge
for bruises & papercut wounds. c’mere,
you say. give it to me heavy-handed,
give it ripe. I’d like to think that hurt feeds
off loving, that my mother’s century-egg soup
hasn’t soured itself out—another face of me
you’ll never consume. we’ve come
here too many times to stitch reopened
wounds, sweat dressing our skin like gilded
bayonets. today, I’ll be the cowherd if
you are the hunter, both of us skinned
into roles past recognition. neither of us
wants to grow into prey: distant, afraid, dead
& behind us. its eyes braised with a life long
enough to know regret, but too short to tender
you within it. today, you are a country I’ll never visit,
a homeland that fractured itself beyond
my present tense. I hope you’ll see this before
I go: how I unhinged your jaw for safekeeping.
how arms burn into daggers by the light.
how these walls have ruined us.
“Deconstructing a Blueprint for Enemies to Lovers” ebbs and flows as a piece, blending evocatively diasporic metaphors and uniquely stream-of-consciousness narration. Through the speaker’s intergenerational interactions, the reader wades through the delineation of the debilitating, volatile act of love–how loving will both recall the past and condemn the present, molding both parties “into roles past recognition.”
Joanna Liu is a writer from Lexington, Massachusetts. Her work has been recognized by the New York Times, the Alliance for Young Writers, and Bennington Young Writers Awards, among others. In her free time, she likes to take care of chickens and watch video essays on Youtube. You can find her on Twitter @cyoxyx.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR