The Wrinkled Sun

by Alina Ying
Art by Chloe Kim
Issue: Serein (Summer 2016)

You’re throwing me off-kilter
with your random musings of peace
in the toasty-golden morning
and it discomfits me to bits
but it’s somehow soothing
as you read the leafy veins in the canopy above us
like they’re fortune cookies
and giggle at the wiggling caterpillars
that sucker-up to the swiss-trees

You know, as we’re laying here
with our bellies up like dead dogs,
I think I can see the moon
in that star-shaped gap above us
that the leafy fronds leave just for us.
It’s a slight moon, a transparent one
and I can’t help but feel sorry for it
since it’s always trying to sashay up to the sun
only to meet failure face-to-face.

Take a bright-eyed, bright-souled look now—
I’m talking to myself now, I see—
But I think it’s kind of gorgeous how the
flowers are blooming up in the sky,
I can see, in that small star-shaped space
that the flowers are a soft, gentle gray color
with streaks of stunning reds
running head-
on to the ends of the earth
like explosions of firecrackers

Let me grab a fistful of wet, reddish-brown dirt now
and hold it up, it’s lovely
how the little tiny metal shards inside
glint off the weak sun
and I don’t know anymore, but I think
I can see some soft-feathered birds
bathed in black and gold
coming down to us few
like messengers of God

and I think of Mom and Dad back home
but mostly of the growing uncomfort
in my rib, or a little bit above that
and it’s like a piece of crosswood
stuck through me…
He’s not there in the end, is He?
Raisin-sized bits of red are dotting the ground
between all six of us
an enemy and a friend and an enemy and friend and enemyenemyfriend
wow… the world’s getting colder
and the sun wrinkles for a bit
and goes out—
I guess the sun did lose in the end—
because war is never as cute as
it should be.

A flower with leaves of various shapes and sizes as petals.