The Poetry Project

Angie Sijun Lou

January at the Sutro Baths

In the new year
my newness is deceptive, I drip the same yolk
over this unit of time. To the rain,
to the money,
to the ravines where I belonged, valent and eclipsed,
only so much I tell you
incites a language.
From a pool to another pool, dusk until negation—
holy, those gothic atriums,
unashamed when I call them “ruins.”
Craters sunken in the green. In the valley,
in the beginning,
in the mirror: vacancy, the silhouette of a human face,
acquired the lesser parts of me
like an enterprise, a vast floating signifier.
One half of me ritualizes
whatever festers
inside the other, like the echo of a mother
when her fetus thrashes,
her tears as a portal. O enter, exit,
lambent container of non-seeing. Though why stop there,
why should the paleness of trees?
I could give you this unmediated real
without my impulse to unify.
In the tides: phosphorescence.
In the forest:
spineless white cat
searching for a place to die, anywhere is fine.

Issue 18