by Joyce Zhang
Issue: Aphelion (Spring 2016)

You have pretty eyes, you said on the first day, when
the sky was dappled with white lights and the ground spun with the stirrings of

your laugh—as it fluttered in the sultry
summer air; music, the coral color of
your cheeks;
the way the road curved as you ran up
that hill, tracing the sundrenched
horizon with the tip of your finger—(look!)

my breath—a pale
cloud, fanning out into the still
air; the carcasses of fall I walked on, reds and
yellows that had long shifted brown;
warmth, rosy and vibrating, as I placed my
hand in yours.

our silver painted nights—when we would
rush through the hazy glow, the breeze kissing the ends of our hair;
the hum of the flickering lamppost as our
feet found their way
home; how the clock seemed to tick slower at three in the morning,
murmuring into the silence, blending into our quiet thump:
thump, thump, thump

That’s how we could’ve begun,
somewhere between the curve of your shy mouth and the gleam of my
pretty eyes.