Helina Li | Art by Joy Song

Her deep dark lines, her bulging veins,
her wrinkled hands holding her fabric and her string,
her dreams not yet forgotten
not yet ended.

She wove them together, those nightmares
the cotton and the wool and the red lips
the brown eyes the open mouths—
their laughs and their stories.

The girl was laughing,
her fluttering hands
not yet withered, not yet old,

a silhouette in the sun
gold caressing her lines, her angles
her legs dangling over the table edge.

She had left home and came home,
had lost and found and stumbled,
had stayed waiting for him.

But time wouldn’t wait. It twisted,
it pulled and pushed and dumped her
out of reach of heaven.

The weaver is spit out of the dream
like an intruder—pause.
Start again, another ending,
another story, any other story—

The boy was running,
lanky arms and wavering legs
and panting sawing breaths,

drifting through light and shadow
disappearing reappearing
one step and another and another,

back to her to the beginning to home—
but time wouldn’t wait. He fell
fell into a river without a sound, without a ripple.

The hands paused. Started again.
She pulled time backwards, forwards
always a girl and a boy, again and again
the same story, the same ending

the same silence,
the same restart, looping, for

if the dream is not yet forgotten
it is not yet ended.