An Incomplete History of Us By Emily Yin

An Incomplete History of Us 

how you lifted up the box lid with boyish
trepidation, untried magician’s sleight

of hand—showed off a pair of oxfords,
copper-toned and napped, unvarnished

like you—how we sat in the mute station bereft
of trains, straining to hear some 80s hit:

more than this, you know there is nothing
more than this. you stooped to pick up a pen,

the forgettable sort—bic, or maybe pentel,
scrubbed off the dirt later that night

at my bathroom sink, hard-bitten nails
roving carefully over the slim body—

how those same unhurried hands
traversed my arms, my back, a pianist’s breathless

glissando, tuned me to breaking point—my head
against your thudding chest, my phone

still clutched in stubborn palm,
a painless pain, my knuckles blanched

whiter, even, than bone—

By Emily Yin


Emily Yin is a freshman studying applied math at Princeton University. Her writing has been recognized by the UK Poetry Society and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Read her work in Indiana Review Online, Track Four Journal, and Rust + Moth, among others.

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