S— this is how we learn to recognize touch:
watching the spring tide lick around
a country’s most vulnerable flank,
the moon’s image overlapping the sun
like a dirty thumbprint left in June.
I understand osmosis. What it means
to be permeable. To let everything enter & enter
the open passage of my mouth
until cilia tickles its roof.
My mother tells me I have confused
saturation with desire. That she knows I dream
about the translucent legs of jellyfish darkening
to wet girl hair. In this film’s final arc,
the moon turns orbitless, falls out of the sky
like a pinball in a slot machine.
I move under the buckled crests
in a vocabulary of catastrophe. I want nothing more
than the hands to open & close
around everything I adore: my silver bracelet, animal
heart. I want to touch the thin film
separating every body of water
from its sky. To witness, for once,
what sparks the electrons’ gentle repulse.
— Sarah Lao (from Split Lip Magazine)