& here I name you with the tongue of god: cloudburst, everglow, heaven peeking through a suspension of rain, freedom upon deathless wings; I name you sky
compounding eyes gazing into an infinite world, yet you cradle my thoughts gently & refract a thousand angles; this crystalline liquidation bequeaths my heart not in flowers but the promise of memory, the intransigence
of our rainfall
can you learn to accept this as love? for all the gilded eloquence that wreathes my tongue could never weave together how I adore -
let me tell u a secret & you wait for me forever
hold my heart while i breathe & you say, always
confess, this is the truth: you are nameless to me as you waltz the liminalities between my dreams.
issue one / serendipity
market tongue (讨价还价)
i teach auntie english & she teaches me: to charm red meat into curling stiff & brown & waltz with storeowners beneath the flicker of lamplight– here’s how to make something from nothing: enter with a purse full of cheap coin, leave with little notebooks and washi tape in our bags, sun-umbrellas folding
over drowsy dusk. places a firecracker at my feet a lighter in my hand: here’s how you gamble away midnight i split the sky with radiance
learn to coax words with a samsara tongue & wake to brilliant sunshine, the roar of warmth on my face await the cycle of twilight, the slumber of this diurnal god, then come alive with the creeping night: just another tapestry - how much for the dark? i’ll talk you down to a discount twenty yuan? ten or i leave for heaven & never look back
< previously published in “anatomy of wonderland” by Bottlecap Press >
Elizabeth Li is a Chinese-Canadian writer who seeks to use surrealism as an exploration of identity, as well as a medium for cultural reconnection and catharsis. She is also the editor-in-chief of The Origami Review, and her debut chapbook “anatomy of wonderland” was published with Bottlecap Press.