I Explain the Art of Reading to an Alien
At night she folds herself into one, filmy,
shrinkwrapped and bound by things that
puncture the mind and sink under surface, dead-
bark and wood. At first the cover proves
unmalleable much like a globe but to press a
finger in and dig up pulls Algeria to Greenland,
oceans kneaded, nations overturned. At the
heart of it sidles up four walls on either side of her,
foreign, like the inner skin of ice when it tries to
flower. In the end only one clover remains
standing, its membrane of leaves threadbare, pushing
against light, the feeling of multiplying and rising
and fading all at once. At night she folds herself in,
can never get out. Dreaming in different colours
like religions, bowing to a single word.
Yejin Suh is a student from New Jersey whose work appears or is forthcoming in Prometheus Dreaming, Half Mystic, and Juke Joint Mag, among others.
The specific Giger work that inspired this poem is Sheet from Biomechanoiden in 1969. Click here to see it.
The Ekphrastic Review
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