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pangu in the egg yolk

CAS for Database

Sophie Lin

Naperville, IL, USA

Neuqua Valley High School


pangu in the egg yolk

half-submerged in an nameless ocean are

irises sliced by a thousand papercuts

dirty yuan with square slits.

a blessing, a hope, a seduction

in disguise.

under the drip of a cheap lantern

she studies literature from foreign lands,

kisses things that don’t matter.

nietzsche. mizu kiri. fin de siècle.

where did the swallow called muse go?

it’s roosted on my windowsill

warbling heaven’s song to itself,

je ne sais quoi.


go on.

turn your face sideways to notice

the way perches catch the light,

human hearts swallow stones:

your breath, it’s the sweeping wind

your voice, the rolling thunder

your muscles

all mountain folds

in the beginning,

people stifle love growing in the dirt,

massacres break out like rashes.

in the end.

we all drift into black holes

moulins and rich constellations,

waiting to be cracked open.


mon amour


lift pangu from the egg yolk,

liberate this aching universe from

my heart.


I specifically liked the lines “human hearts swallow stones,” “liberate this aching universe from my heart,” and “massacres break out like rashes.” This constant thread of human love and existentialism is masterfully done. I love how (the author takes) the reader back to “the beginning”—what did love look like then? What did the universe look like then?


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