This is how water loves: A collection of poems

William Pan/Staff

cerulean lines


i was wind,

monsoons on summer days and

unexpected hurricanes,

breath missing from

faded blue veins.


this is how air loves, i said,

always trying to leave and

hard to keep

Zeus never stayed for daylight’s break;

my tendency to walk away.


she was fire,

roaring passion and

crackling orange warmth,

bright blue gas radiating

in gorgeous form.


this is how fire loves, she said,

swallowing things

before they can die out.

Ares knows endings are only embers;

her distaste for cold December.


we met by chance,

two best friends,

uncanny mixture of

hydrogen and oxygen fell together

not apart

screaming along to god’s voice

through speakers in broken cars.


made water as

flammable gas and easy air

danced together in twists and


an eternity of in-between,

teal serenity,

intermingling souls and lives.


this is how water loves, we said.

in waves

but always washes up to

the same shores

against shifting sand of time.

Poseidon hums sotto voce

his constant thrum,

unfailing rhythm of

ebb and flow,

a metronome of hope or



in this

glorious cobalt blue,

we hold each other,

forget we will not forever

fill the same space,

press palm to palm our fingertips

to sift through silk of

Andromeda and Milky Way,

rewrite the lines of our separated fate.


in this

royal navy,

we look for answers,

tilt our heads up to

silver sky

fall down dizzy from shared laughter.

we clench our fists around

our threatened infinity,

knuckles of white-hot fervor,

hair of billowing, ferocious want,

two atoms of hydrogen and oxygen

refusing to ever fall apart.


and yet somehow,

we let go,

open our hands and receive

the calm cerulean of divine sky

air has not yet scattered,

inhale every last bit of

this dazzling,


blue light.


for this is how water loves, we said.

no matter how far,

how hard,

how long,

it returns

to caress the same shores.

it returns

in waves

to bring wind and fire home

every time.




your lips on mine

send lightning rods of

expectation and

molasses anticipation

running down each vertebrae of

my knobby spine, convince

every circuit in my medulla

not to just flit by.


i did not think people any longer

appeared beautiful by morning light,

scored by birds greeting sunrise,

but i was surprised to find

i was not sad as

i woke to your eyes.


it’s just that,

us air signs,

we like to take flight, like

birds running in circles, always

checking different haystacks

for needles to mend

broken wings

earned in the sky.


i cannot say

i love you, but

thank you for holding my hand.

i suppose

it can be enough to make

resting my weary feathers

feel right.

i mean, is love not simply

wanting to sit next to that person sometimes?




my body is

a battleground which has seen

too many of your wars.

it has heard your

heartbeats like gunshots,

has wrapped its raw wounds

in soft, forgiving gauze.


my body is

covered in scars from

maps of us you charted on

my lower back,

has lost its voice

asking you to stop

traipsing over it like conquered land.


my body is

not an island or a

temporary tropical paradise to

wait out the fucking rain;

it is wind bequeathed with

fire and knows the

storm of flame.


my body is

mostly mine but also yours;

so, please,

do not treat it like

a place to rest your weary bones

before you get home,

for i too am looking for one of those.


my body is a battleground,

but our battle is finished.


you have left it bent and

tarnished, but you have not won.


it is still radiant,

blindingly beautiful.

it will rise again like the sun.

Contact Eda Yu at [email protected]