Portrait of Hamlet in Repose

by Rebecca Liu
See how the firmament loosens
like a clod of earth                 how the horizon
crackles like two skulls wrapped in velvet
and nuzzling each other til sparks fly surely
the shadow of a speaker
     lying supine in snow or
you lying supine in sheets wrapped in the clear
stars of an oil night          the memory
of speech like the mirror in shallow
water which memory
the edge of your being
being the edge of my language
surely                         eyes glazed over and loosened
from the filament
which sight              this one swap of syllable
o stasis
o shadow being
o painted picture growing
like a kumquat
how much the image of contrast         like when Polonius
that royal pear
cried through the curtain and you sliced
him in half to expose five seeds
arranged like a star
the night’s reflection glistening off
his skin               the shadows of my legs
walking along the walls
This poem originally appeared in Boston Review.