Before the Ruins

Before the Ruins

Sophie Guan | Art by Katherine Cui

Draw a lane without an end; then doors to
line the walls. Draw a door without handles,
which opens to sands and nights;
then draw me there in sandals—

an ode to the somnolence
a solo to the chirpèd chords.
Light a fire with a dash of the brush
and see it sing its score.

Draw a window with no pane; then dogs to
watch the wind down the endless drive;
let the curtains flutter with a trace of lines,
the shadows to dance with summer light.

Draw a door to quietness; then keys to
sound it with. Draw a bed behind the door,
a blanket, a book to read when lost;
then draw me there a little small—

a dot in the white tall walls
an ice in the silent stove.
Tuck me in with a smear of paint
and see me melt in full.

Draw a window to a room; then a sign to
show me where. Draw my papers white;
then my words in records and stories lie.
Draw worries I can fade with colors light.

Draw a door to a house; then a map to
get me there. Draw my mom and hers;
then my dad, brothers, and sisters.
Draw anger I can erase with my eraser.

Draw a door to water; then a canvas to
dye it with. Draw some towels by the lake,
to dry the brushes when I’m done;
then leave me there to wake.

But if perchance there lingers pain—
Draw a brush to draw a lane.