The summer air flattens me like a leaf
pressed against a window in a storm.
The veins curling, as if extending through
the glass; a pin burrowing on a whim
into a stranger’s life. The days are wilting.
The nights. Diving into a lake to find
it has turned into glass, and then to realize
it isn’t a lake at all, but a mirror, reflecting
my secrets like moths to a wound.
My thoughts echo into the crisscross of stars.
I can hear my voice, speaking, as if to say
what you are looking for is out there, find it.
The shivering first breath upon surfacing
the water. A flurry of doves into a pair of lungs.
A dandelion breaking topsoil. Come fall, it will
scatter to the wind, its existence lost in the folds
of time. Still, it blooms. As if to say: I will exist,
even ephemerally. I yearn for low tide,
the sand ridging beneath my toes. The waves,
constantly evolving into the same thing.
I dream of diving backwards. The unspooling of myth
into reality. I dream of swimming in syllables as if
I can catch living on my tongue. Catch
footprints on the shore at night, knowing
they’ll be gone by morning.
Emma Miao is a Chinese-Canadian poet from Vancouver, BC. Her poems appear in Cosmonauts Avenue, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Emerson Review, Rising Phoenix Review, and Up the Staircase Quarterly, among others. The winner of the F(r)iction Poetry Contest 2020, Emma is a Commended Foyle Young Poet 2019, a COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective Fellow, and an alumna of the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. Her poetry and piano album, Oscillation, is forthcoming this winter. Find her at emmamiao.weebly.com.
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