curfew’s at midnight but we come home before eleven
through a lazy sort of dimness, summer wind downy 

on sun-blushed skin. the sky a smudged ink blue, blurred
like fingerprints on a windowpane & the window 

streaming lemonade light. there's a girl with shuttered eyes
beside me & i don't know if she’s any more substance 

than a whispering smoke ring, than a moonbeam
curled around a cloud. streetlights are ripening, smaller 

suns skipping over stones, shedding opal flakes
across the ground. part of me wants to unravel 

the charcoal branches lacing overhead to dust & 
the rest of me wants to watch the girl humming 

in the middle of the road, drifting nearly voiceless, 
her face half shadowed & half luminous. farther ahead 

a boy & a girl slip their hands together
like they're balancing secrets on their fingertips. 

i want to tell them they don't have to hide here
but i think they already know, anyway.



i spilled a childhood of prayers on the ground,
saying, look. i have believed all my life
in a certain fundamental infallibility. saying
why is there no guarantee for memory.

no answer, so: slip the precious ones away
to gather dust until rediscovery. pictures hung
on the walls fade, and i will not let you; i want
to be always lying head tipped back
in a wine-dark sea

under a winter sun lightening my skin to ice,
hands in your hair and ink winging across
the arch of my knuckles, buttresses
for some stained glass window
now whispering in the wind. where

do my words end, and where do you begin?
answer: one fits wholly into the other. so
let the congregation whisper.
i have no need for them.

QUINN LUI is a Chinese-Canadian student from southern Ontario who serves as a Feedback Editor for Sooth Swarm Journal. They have always been in love with words, stories, and the sky. You can find more of their writing at abstractedfocus.tumblr.com.