Julia Jin | Art by Christine Cheng

This lone gold ring speaks not to me, for I

am why it has no finger to embrace.

Yet this cold crystal can only comply,

and rest in a box in her pale hand’s place.


Those distant angels I have heard on high,

purse their lips, as they turn away to face

that phantom ringing; bronze bells on standby

murmur to the clouds of her, my disgrace.


Her back was all slight lines and gentle, shy,

smooth dips of alabaster skin to trace

with these callused fingertips, and I sigh,

for sharp bitter barbs have taken her place.


The drink was too heavy for me last night.

I’ll try again then, perhaps, at dawn’s light.