by Alina Ying
Issue: Aphelion (Spring 2016)
I breathe once
with the breath touching a lily-flower
this pearl robe-dress of mine
in the water as the droplets cling to
the tips of my eyelashes
dark against the clear, clear water
my tangled hair
like ink blossoming out into calligraphy
and my China-red lips
dead red within the aqua
and I see the little trills of
whispering out in round,
that tell of my hundred-thousand lives,
my hundred-thousand rebirths.
O I look in the world-lake not for its beauty
but for the depth
of my reflection,
the crux of my soul.
and I glimpse, for a moment,
the jade watercolors tinting
my life into another
and each time I go ‘round and
‘round in my everlasting
cycle of karma,
I cry for my sleeping fairy-spirit
that endures again
and again, the world
crueler than the kiss of the Moon goddess
cuts a thread from the universe,
A sprinkle of rainwater falls silently,
when it tiptoes down my eyelids
and falls into the clear lake
a lotus in summer rain, still
as another ripple fattens out.
A quiet moment
and I see through the eyes of an innocent,
who places his flushed heart in the hands of strangers,
believing that good will triumph
And he was blissful
And he saw the world through
eyes like cut glass.
In his later years, he switched them
for white ones. A product, perhaps, of
The rain layers itself again on me like a silken cocoon
I swear my ears, wet and cool,
hear the heartbeat of a defeatist,
she has nothing, she knows
and her why is in
questioning the world who only sent her to suffer in
camps of quiet death marches with the blood
of her kin next to her, living in a world
where prayer is hopeless and a dictator
rules both her body and mind.
She’s closed her ears, already—
so no more words can hurt her.
The rainwater drips down
down my red, red lips,
and I steal away the voice of a dreamer,
the boy who sees all, hears all, feels all
And understands that the universe
is simply a reflection of yourself.
I hum a lingering requiem for my past breaths, my past lives,
and endless jade-water creeps up on me…
is a feeling that I’ve experienced
Moon goddess, my sister,
I will see you again.
Third breath, fourth breath,
and then my hundred-thousandth-and-first.
to find who I am.