Three poems

patina

everything is still glazed over with that veneer
granted by impermanence / everyone is still
glittering, black hair frosted to silver twine
in the harsh light-splatter that breaks between
tree-trunk shadows

& this is all transitional:
you are uninjured until you look up at the mirror
& a bruise unscrolls plump below your wrist
in that dehydrated shade of red-brown-purple
like a wilting

blossom crunching through autumn,
core & all / it bites back with the tips of its seeds.

siri, where’s the nearest dumpster?

potential answer #1: it started as a joke but now i think we are more afraid of the answer than we are of continuing to laugh at straw wrappers or banana peels. i keep hiding the sadness in places where i expect it to be found & try not to be disappointed when no one looks down as they scrape their plates clean. we are both better at existing in the name of other people. by this i might mean existing so we can blame other people for it. by this i might mean we don’t like to be held responsible for our own unhappiness, how it turns stretched-out and clingy, twirling into long strands like spaghetti wound around a fork. how every new & old aspect of moving through the world sticks to it like herbs in its sauce.  

potential answer #2: it started as a joke but it’s not that we don’t know how to be good. it’s that we don’t know how to be good to each other.

être dans la lune

every day now, a lullaby called moonlight 
twines its roots alongside the roots of your hair 
the way liars bend the wire of every word
into the shape of its own antonym. 

the world floats behind the tight mesh 
of a window screen, blunted 
with the milky disorientation of waking 
from a nap that swam too deep 

into a weekday afternoon. every day now 
you mark time in the changing letters 
on local license plates. keep expecting 
a mask to be made from every metaphor

but there was nothing brittle about your legs 
knotted together, sweat-sticky in the summer 
afternoon. nothing false about your hands, 
mechanical through her hair. 

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Art by Eugenia Loli

Eugenia Loli is a filmmaker and collage artist. Originally from Greece, she’s now spent many years living in California. Before art took over her life she worked in the technology sector. Find out more on her Tumblr.

Quinn Lui is a Chinese-Canadian student and writer attending the University of Toronto. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in L'Éphémère ReviewAscend MagazineOcculum, and others. You can find them @flowercryptid on TumblrTwitter, and Instagram.