Emily Liu


I recall the bruised


you came home

a deer around your shoulders:

the crown-head a mass

of shattered bone,

eyes still warm,

blood-pale in sockets. Never

mind the muttering on

about sleep and its stages, rigor

mortis snagged on the edge

of a dream. Tautology of a second-

chance, wasn’t this just another drunken

body from afar, bagged

and ready for worship. Every

word wrapping winter around

its hunger, every prayer

sublimed to an empty palm.

I see myself in the incense

harvested from your mouth’s

bloom--paper wick

abating in your eyes.

Emily Liu is a high school student from Naperville Illinois. Her works have been recognized by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, National PTA Reflections Program, and the International Hippocrates Young Poets Prize.