Published on Academy of American Poets (

Radial Scent

My body tauter, poised to carry.
When I pitch forward
I tumble inside.
Each time I try,
an algal bloom
replaces language’s surface.
Ruby-red & unmoored,
waves over laminate surfaces…
Everything alive aching
for more aliveness.
I love the world,
push it away reflexively.
Make songs like
negated charges on a circuit.
Syntax arches towards
the back of
a neck. Inside emotion:
a corralling of emotion.
Love in the larval stage:
terror of surrender.
Unraveling, a path.
Words were not made for us.
They are above, we submit.
We are like the rock beneath
the water,
even if we created the water. 


Copyright © 2017 by Sharon Wang. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 6, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“The final lines came first. I wrote the others thinking of spring, which tends to make me aware of how slow and quiet one’s insides can be, in comparison to the environment. I wanted to spin a cocooned space in the poem to expand into and be. It’s like the aliveness of breathing into your own chest.”
—Sharon Wang


Sharon Wang

Sharon Wang’s first poetry collection, Republic of Mercy, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in spring 2018. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she works as a web developer.

Date Published: 2017-11-06

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