after Ocean Vuong

Don’t worry. You can look upwards and there
will always be a night sky, dotted with piercing
stars so long as it isn’t foggy. Don’t be afraid.
Here’s the house you grew up in, with its blue
picket fence and honey suckle tree,
and here is your grandmother underneath the
front porch light, waving hello or goodbye.
It is a world where foxes sing their strange song
& even the willow tree misses the silent wind
that once passed through its black leaves.
You can still hold a ladder against the pale
moon & make the sacrifice, cradle
all of your wounds and allow the starlight
to lick them clean. You can say her name
into lilies, into moonlight, and each time
it will sound different in your mouth
depending on where the light falls.
Don’t you see this bed, this book,
this bird, your body made
specifically to heal? Do not fear –
there will always be a poem,
another long drive home
and a hand to hold even if it’s your own.
It is brave to feel loneliness
and not shake in the face of it.
Slow down, hold your lover
gently – see? There is no urgency.

By Jessica Therese


Jessica Therese is a twenty one year old musician and writer from Sydney, Australia. She is currently studying a degree in clarinet performance. She wants to visit Iceland and plant a field of poppies in her backyard. She only wears odd socks. In the future she wants to pursue a career in music journalism and as an orchestral musician. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Words Dance, Thistle Magazine, Germ Magazine, Letters from Bummer Press, Degenerates: Voices for Peace, and others. Read more of her writing at contramonte.tumblr.com


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