Vague Lights


without the rain       i undress the night myself
like the skin of bruised fruit      i can’t help but
push. there is no riot        of thunder slick & heavy
under the tongue,       no flood to cleanse     the sin
i wear as if        it is only a layer        of blush
on my cheeks, the colour of roses.          the colour
of august & my quiet       undoing. on the train
ride home, it felt good     to admit i was lonely.
to look out      the window      & see vague lights
floating      around each other    beneath the faint
glow of broken street lamps     just light dancing
with more        light, orbiting        the same circle,
taunting me       with bright mouths.     the world
goes on touching everything      except this strange
body of mine.       sick with longing,        i undress
the night       the way           a lover would. the way
an ampersand        curls into itself –      arms always
seeking, nothing                    waiting on either side.

Donnalyn Xu