Another for the Soil
by Olivia Hu

The skull bubbles 
wet. This is how you know 
your bones are ready for 
bullet, ready to 
unspool red. Your mother 
warned you of the sun,
you should have stayed inside. 


The night is hungry. The ground is hungry & 
growing teeth to swallow. Everything is hungry,

look around. Vying for your blood which has 
been laid down to rest too many times.

Your clone is asleep & strung to sky, meaning 
shot, meaning dead, meaning you don’t need to

read the news to know. You’ve smashed the radio
to parch your eyes rainless. What is expected: your skin.


Eyes shrinking into socket, 
primitive into cave. 
I watch pink fist become 
catalyst for misfire: What enters 
the body always masked as 
mistake. Stop. Shake me until 
the ground orbits out of axis.


You have been told a lot of things, 
lessons pulled out of the ocean’s mouth.
A softer decay. Tar jellied skin is what 
the siren says, what has taught you time & 
time again to tap your feet, blue & red ochre
becoming nightclub fog for last dance.  


There are more important things than hiding from
death, you say, but we both know that it’s not true,

you avoiding highways & basketball courts, you 
always hearing something in your sleep, clawing for

the hand, pulling at what has already crumbled. 
Most hands no longer hands. Your mother

has bought curtains longer than the last pair, 
the patterns just as sleepless as the neighbourhood

fences. The walls will not echo if you never shift.
A throat becomes raw if vowels latch on for too long.

Listen, someday the hand will learn its story & we will unlace
grief from bandages. It is so easy to slick the heart into history. 
Profile photo of barkingsycamores
About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.