Spring turns to summer, hopes fly high. A golden romance—in my bloody fists I smell osmanthus flowers. Under the pulped sun, lovers grow young and younger. Everyone kisses inside empty school buses, everyone says goodbye. Cheekbones that bruise outside incandesce inside. I can’t stop sobbing in bed alone or with another. Riding bikes next to the lake, hold my hands under the bridge. The first time it touches me, the pink blossom revolts me. Winter stripped the willow bark bare. We pray the leaves will grow back. I can’t read the names carved on the tree—who are they? Did they survive?
Under the sun, lovers are revolting. Nurses in uniforms bring us IVs. We are all fainting. Is it hunger? Is it rage? Tear gas with its peppery odor touches the petals falling across my thighs. My knee-high socks, my school uniform, my nosebleed. The chants grow louder and louder, the squadrons whistle. Batons, holsters, handcuffs, and then martial law. The screams, the spring, the safety line. Don’t forget to drink water, my mother tells me. She begs me not to go but I go.
my hands are up, lungs
full of fish, I
drop my phone into the lake