I watched the ceiling from my low bed. It bent when the girls danced upstairs.
I looked out that window for a year, saw the water low under the bridge.
I stayed as still as I could under the bedspread.
The shower below the stairwell, as if a foot could, through the ceiling.
I washed the dishes in the round basin sink and found it beautiful, an inverted bridge.
Bent myself into a dance, watched the water.
My plywood desk splintered and sagged.
Threw up blueberries on the tile one day; I worried the heater would light the curtains on fire.
I guess it was spring then, but who can ever tell but if the river is rising?
I heard laughter out of my mouth.
The light was so bright in the mornings that the tulips opened into small, petaled basins.
Yes, I watched the moon, stilling to its height.
My face round after the night, and I tried the trick with spoons, as if cold water could.
Emily Lee Luan is a Taiwanese American poet and essayist. A 2020 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets (2019), The Rumpus, Washington Square Review, The Offing, and elsewhere.
read next: Emily Lee Luan, “Target™ Haibun“
“Your longed-for true form” appeared in TLR: Contents May Shift (Summer, 2020)