is something better than nothing?

by Jenny Wu
Art by Vivian Huang
Issue: Aphelion (Spring 2016)

“Is something better than nothing?”
If only I could somehow
blacken my emotions for you
until they were drenched
in the night sky, clouded,
to fool my mind into believing that
there were no stars in this world anyway.

If only I could somehow
wash the dried ink I had scrawled for you
right off the page
without leaving scratches and
blotchy stains,
or leaving the paper
wrinkled and ripped, curling into itself,
the stars bleeding through,
as they unfortunately do
in the true night sky.

If only I could somehow
become clean;
my hands, willingly dipped in
the watery darkness, dripping,
everything I touch, seeping,
my mind, breaking,
eyes, racing—
somebody pour this ice-cold reality
over me!
Wake me from this reverie,
where your words are stars
tracing paths across my body
and I have hope—
I don’t want it.
I don’t want to need the night sky anymore so
take back your stars that continue to whisper
I wish you would love me
I wish you would love me
I wish,
you would.