the first hit of sunlight in my eyes

by Elizabeth Cheng
Art by Catherine Li
Issue: Nostos (Winter 2019)

when the sunlight first hit my eyes


the initial seconds are bewildering

i don’t know where or who i am


afterwards the minutes are luxurious

smooth and velvety

never ending


locked in a safe haven

deep under layers of dependence

held by the sun, the clouds, the moon, the stars

nothing i want to do


next the world crashes to me

but only through my lens

tunnel vision confines me inside

the world shrinks

pricking at the back of my head


like a bitter fruit

i can’t swallow it down

it stays with me

inside my chest, unmoving

pushing my heart to pound

forcing my breath to quicken


desperate for comfort

i rise

the grey heaviness

a sloth behind my eyes

no way out

but forward

so that’s where i go


the warm yellow glow

once so fresh

once so captivating

now just irritates every part of my body


the writing is lifeless to me now

this and that and this again

neat and precise

my conscience wants me to brutally force through

but my body craves the bliss it needs


there’s nothing left

as the weariness spreads to my mind

through my limbs

then deeper into my soul

i fall back


into the slumber


hours gone

from yet another day

but i am still back where i began

when the sunlight first hit my eyes.