‘a threesome’

by Fanxi Liu

THE DIFFICULTY OF DISENTANGLEMENT

Girl holding your hand. I dreamt of empty dormitories last night
very quietly, Henan summer blowing in through the open door.
There was a drought that year, three reservoirs drawn dry, despite which
the evening air was sharp enough to cut my thoughts in half:
upturned faces touched bright with rapture; palm clenched around a pocketful of stories.
Screen red on a backdrop of stars choked out of the sky.
I imagine that after a tragedy the characters stagger away, mostly because
they are shellshocked by the knowledge that all else will be afterword.
Girl sitting on the balcony. You shudder at yourself
that you bruised her shoulder so she would carry something of you away with her
that you left your best hope at redemption behind your teeth
that you can only stand in a wash of tail-lights
– having been breathed out.

BRIGHT ENOUGH TO BURN

Found his breath stolen one morning, he whispers faintly to me
barely audible however his slashed lungs flutter. Eagerly helpless.
He doesn’t know about the missing Friday, the canal, the sleeves pushed up her arms
or that I’ve been putting all the tenderness I can no longer muster there.
Benediction murmured soft against my wrists.
Murakami on my nightstand.
Perhaps during the dark he can wander to the edge of the grass
kneel where the ground is warm and exhale ripples across the water
sink into the gentle lost. Waking
he deserves better than to believe himself lucky.

SOMETIMES WE HIT UPON A THEORY

Held to her, light streams through.
It’s always that kind of violence you crave for him:
past like bones rebreak reset.

The Poor Print

The Oriel College Newspaper. Run by students, with contributions from the JCR, MCR, SCR, Staff. Current Executive Editors: Chloe Whitehead, Fanxi Liu, Michael Angerer

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