by Rebecca Liu
Nothing is bigger than the tip of an autumn
hair. Mt. Vesuvius is small.
No one lives longer than the unadorned child
and the sages died young, each poplin
effigy like so many unlined pits
on the windowsill. The effect of time
like watching the reverse of a world subsuming
constant shadows, while it acquires a taste
like the lacquered radiance
of a bruised pomelo.
I had been a yellow-bellied
dreamer now, in the vulture’s
white night when the stale hunger pushes
like the fizzle of clockwork.
Anything is a world of its own, and its geography
etched in my palm. It was a wrongful wooing,
ruinous as a myth revealing the cartographer’s
arsenal: a cloying mess
of illegible maps of finch’s nests and the wide
rivers that criss-cross your body
like a continent. I have always had a propensity
for exaggeration, like so many finches, dividing.