Between: A poem

Photo of an orange sun
K Bahr/Creative Commons

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dawn breaks between a thunder clap

and a fuming sky.

from the same window, i trace 

the fork of lightning,

divining water that never comes,

and watch the horizon eclipse 



inside glass panes and yellow walls

i am supposed to be safe.

the ground is too cold to walk on 

with bare feet

and at night i think i hear a knock

or three

at the door.


days stretch and nights fall apart

like pulled cotton

filling my mouth and my head

until i am thick-tongued

and dizzy 

from the thunderous 



here and 


is elusive,

is no longer a point

in the timeline

but elongating and shrinking —

i don’t know where to put

my balance —

that red sun 

looked so close



the fires

are ubiquitous.

no matter who you ask,


they will tell you

of smoke lingering

behind the ears,

at the base of their lungs,

of displacement — again.

the fires creep.


you leave just to come back just to

call in, anyway,

tethered no matter where 

you must escape.


the crises

are ubiquitous,

no matter where you look,


they will tell you 

every which way the world is crumbling

in your hands,

at your feet,

until the city that you have never seen snow

rains ash.


the chaos creeps.

lean out of one and into another;

the further we are —

the closer we look —

the way we are butterflies 

pressed between glass:


watching it all crest

before us,

at a distance and yet 



Contact Sean Tseng at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @STWeekender24.