Survival as Aesthetic Matter

by Letitia Chan

There are few things I want
that are not you. Few thoughts
there be in my head though
there could be many if I
willed it so. One must preserve
one’s dignity, smartness,
somehow. My mind has been
sleeping. The heart is the only
part of me that has not slept,
has not been sleeping, been
a wanting engine. Fog city
of incoming sickness.
What we’ve been dwelling on
hasn’t been enough. The comfort
one finds in fearing is
treacherous. If I could fill
my days with work or anything
of its nature, would I be so much
less consumed? The people
were out there becoming
felled of themselves, and the streets
now, desolate. Epidemic
has a pink tongue. The comfort
one finds in fear swallowing
its nasal drip this whole time.
Down the throat my mother’s
feverish orchids from the market.
I’ve been thinking of
everything I don’t know how
to touch. You were a beautiful
thing. Well grown, strong.
Nothing of despair
could kill you. Stripped of its
possibilities I sit by the sill
each day looking to each thing
that has still existed. Its wonder.
My vocation is this: trying
to be your love, moving into
the shadow of it, being aware
this whole time I’ve had luck enough
to be in the right place as you.

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