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June 25, 2019 Poetry

Glass City Aubade

Gavin Yuan Gao

Glass City Aubade photo

Nights shipwrecked / in nameless wanting

The city a floating glass 
garden / to be lost in

Banished from the blinked-out streets / we put 
our dollar-store faith / in the claw machine

wager our best luck / on a dinosaur with a cotton 
heart / as if for once / we both want the same thing: to touch
extinction / to see if it’s loss / if it’s kind 

This brand new / desire: refashioning 
childhood / from a less intimate ruin

If we could, we’d live forever / in arcade fluorescence / we’d live 
forever in worship / of a neon god

Out in the familiar cold / we lift 
up our faces / for the moon to tiptoe on

Somewhere the war has begun / we don’t 
hear about it / though we feel the eloquence 
of sulfur in our lungs

How lovely it is / you say / to have 
a bed to forget yourself in / in a city 
that doesn’t love you

Key moans in the door lock / and we’re back 
at ground zero

Against the slow / pollen of pre-dawn
we unbutton our skin / to reveal the youngest 
muscles in our bodies 

Between our naked limbs / an almost-blue immediacy 
unfurls its petals

image: Dorothy Chan