Minying Huang: Our Skyful of Driftwood

Our Skyful of Driftwood

Off mussed bed’s edge,
how deep do your woods & hillsides
run? Wood ear, chrysanthemum, peony
dawn redwoods linger in the wet of memory
the rock of history, their shadows pressed
birds’ feathers on a washing line, the wind
whipped high above our heads where
my fingers cannot forage for scuff, touch
the rush where the shapes of our hands
dip into themselves, where the tracing of
outlines spells water tetchy, then wistful
you, winsome on the shore, waving at me
I look towards the ceiling, all rooms my
cracked mirror, all routes dusty & cobwebbed
the ocean far from this boat, unrockable
the woods faintly in my hair, the hillsides
steeped in Britain, my wrists ungrazed by
your salve. Tell me we are gazing at the
same patch of sky, at least. Tell me we are
the woods I drift off in, heady midnight
stream that leads to you, the hash I am
weaving out of mirages in this August heat
does not exist. I think I dreamt the wind
mistook my own sweat for your salt spit
I am not even gazing at the sky. I just
want to be. & you are not who I think
you are. Come cockcrow, our woods
will be red with fire. Most faces
unravel before I, lonely, reach
the shore, clawing at my
back, plucked skin

Minying Huang (she/they) grew up in Cambridge, UK. Her poems appear in PANK Magazine, Electric Literature, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, the Shade Journal, Nat. Brut, and elsewhere. They are studying for a PhD in Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford.