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what is the name of the world -- poetry by Emilie Guan

i wake up

i swallow solitude for breakfast i drink news to wash it down,

i choke on red horrors watch them fuse with spiderwebs of my saliva.

can’t sleep

can’t just toss and turn on barren sheets so i turn on the TV,

can’t blind myself with blueish phantasms but i’ll be damned if i stop trying.

take time

take-out at half past three AM that or microwaved instant noodles,

take names and now i’m no one except on that week-old grocery receipt.

the echoes

the rooms are so empty here like heads truncated by the collarbone,

the glossy femurs have hollow marrow suck it gently like a baby.

void swallow me

void lacuna abyss e.g. the gap between my teeth the pore within my daymare,

void of meaning just the flat aftersound of my singing then the screaming in the shower.

anymore prayers

anymore of this i will shave my eyes off to stave this pain off,

anymore and i’ll learn to slurp up kimchi while the streets flood with bodies.

please stop

please someone hold me i need human touch tongue on cobalt bruises and eye-bags,

please don’t numb i need visceral singeing alight something solid to cling onto.

help them

help is too late for the nameless somehow news only broadcasts the famous,

help this terror from the screen under the bed in my slit lips throat hoarse from pleading.

me, gone

me trying to not plunge into the white crevasse between channel seven and three,

me closing my eyes to not see eidolon grandma’s hands spooning me soup feverishly chanting

my name my name my name


Emilie Guan grew up in Pittsburgh (PA) and now lives in Shanghai as a frazzled high-school student. She’s prone to getting too emotional over fictional stories. If she’s not multitasking while listening to The 1975, she’s probably wishing she could stay awake a little longer in her dreams.

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