Clarissa Gao: Two Poems


there are no words i can use to describe the sun and the sky
the closest i can get is describing me describing you
there’s a poem crying underneath our breaths
i dont want to speak over it

light doesn\’t dance it slashes
it pierces you
but it bleeds
what a dramatic sensitive self-pitying little thing

i think it just wants to be touched

i think it just wants to fall

slice through plein air
and crash and collide with concrete slab
wade through thick breath, slip between thin gasps
i think it wants to know what it\’s like to touch your skin with its own

i think it just wants to know what it means to die
to be kissed
to cry

light is a vain curious invasive little thing
it cuts
into anything it can reach
splays itself over surfaces and bodies
leering over shoulders
reaching into pores and eyes and noses, mouths, ears

it wants to touch,
kiss, dig, burrow, sleep, die
deep in the home between your lungs
it wants to touch you in ways it cant itself
it wants to be alone (with you)
soak you clean

there is nothing it finds more violent than the white of your eyes, the back of your head, the sound of your voice cutting through its flesh

if light could speak, it would barely even whisper,
if light could speak it would write
it would wait for you to read it aloud


after palalo catalina series #5

what do you see when you look at me?
an animal? a boy? a bug?

you speak me felt and fortune
molten sea and congealed fiber
do you want me a part of you?

do you want my jerkied lungs on display
do you want my jellied blood
you can unhinge my jaw pull out my tongue and spray paint the wall with my insides and i wouldnt know what to say to you
i guess i’d want people to look at me too

a smear. an animal. a body


(Featured image: Peter Alexander, “Thrasher,” 1992. Oil on canvas. UCI Institute and Museum for California Art)

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