Manual to Running Outside -- poetry by Tiffany Aurelia
Safety, the cold ambiguity of it. I grow thorns out of my
eyes and hope they are sharp enough to defend.
In some other street, a girl silvers her hair clip into
the blacksmith of her hands, bares menace from unease.
Both of us don’t know it, but we slick the same prayer
against our tongues, each breath trailing that
universal manual of defensiveness. This is what the news
taught us: head snapped up towards the horizon.
Gaze straight, sharpened into a knuckle ready to spear
at the throat. One earbud in, the other ear
always unsheathed. How to shape the senses into
sensitivity, every action as sonorous and deep
as bone. Outside, it is not easy to differentiate between
footsteps and birds cleaving their wings
against the sky. It is not easy to beg ourselves unnoticed.
Desire, the cold stare of it. To have someone
leer and call it right. Even if it is sunny outside, remember
to cloak the darkness around the body,
be careful not to give fear a name.
Everything is only a matter of circumstance.
Tiffany Aurelia is a South-East-Asian writer and student, from the bustling city of Jakarta, Indonesia. She has poems published or forthcoming in Blue Marble Review, ellipsis lit, and Up the Staircase. She is an editor for Polyphony Lit.