Sleep Song By Serrina Zou

Sleep Song

We sleep to become clean
Where demons
Meet their oblivion,
Our eyelids
Fluttering in heartbeats —
Episodes from hell
We never dream.
We spend hours curled
In cocoons
Cradling the moon in our fingers
As if to capture
In lunar gardens
Strung with fairy lanterns
My mother tells me we are cursed
From the past eight lives,
Whispers prayers
From textured nonsense
Etched between the creviced grooves
Of our altar’s incense
In jasmine we trust our gods
To save the fragments
Of our flesh
We lost to the diaspora
They wrap our wishes in feathery tissues
And sink them in obsidian urns
Like poetry for someday
When the sky falls
Across our shamelessness
In the new year we beg for the river to swallow
Our blood —
To say we lost
And were lost
We cannot.
We sleep instead.

By Serrina Zou


Serrina Zou is a junior at Basis Independent Silicon Valley in San Jose, California and a 2019 California Arts Scholar in Creative Writing. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Just Poetry!!!, the Asian Pacific Fund, In Parentheses Magazine, and the Bay Area Book Festival. When she is not writing poetry, she is either catnapping or avidly devouring novels.

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