whoever created your glass
made you overfull on the inside
there is no half-full, no half-empty
you only know how to deal in extremes
and how to scramble when you run over
downhill slide, terminal velocity, stumbling
keep up, keep up, don’t let them see the way you’re
desperate, how each exhale feels like a sacrifice, how
there are invisible things hunting you, forever just a step
behind you, tasting sweat on your neck, and you never learned
how to fight. pull your dear things closer like you can protect them.
don’t stop moving. you can’t. you don’t want to. put the tears in a locked box out of sight.
it’s crumbling like a house fire, catching like a flower in a child’s fist
and it’s all getting away from you now. you remember something
about birds in the hand or the bush— you never had either,
you think, just phantom feathers in your palms and
the ineffable feeling of being caged in, knowing
this is it. you’re in it for the long run— or
rather, truer, the long run’s in you.
running over, stain the rug, stain
your skin, prints on glass,
places you can’t reach,
the only proof you
were ever there
Can't Help Myself, by Sun Yuan & Peng Yu (China) 2016
Grace McGory is a queer student, writer, and artist based in New Jersey. She is currently working towards two bachelors of arts degrees at Rowan University. Grace is the proud recipient of several awards for her poetry and prose, including the Rowan University Prize for Poetry and the Edward Czwartacki Prize for Fiction. You can find her other work in Capsule Stories and forthcoming in Avant.
The Ekphrastic Review
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