2022 Poetry Collection

dear my universe

the stars tell stories but not everyone can hear them.
a night sky; under the expanse of the world–
the watchful eyes of the cosmos
what am i searching for?
perhaps a spot with too many stars, perhaps a spot with too few.
perhaps the ghost of Shenzhou 5, perhaps a UFO.
perhaps, the edges of the universe, two pieces of hand-stitched galactic cloth.
do you see what those who came before us saw?
the bow of Orion, Draco’s scales, the chains of Andromeda.
will the world end when the stars fade? when they are no longer watching
will we fade with them? a great explosion of light, a sound like the start of a colossal vacuum
and then

what, do you suppose, the universe smells like?
bacon and gunpowder?
a precarious blend of fragrances;
chilled air of the Arctic, blazing breeze of the tropics
moist earth after rainfall, dry desert after sunrise.
what, do you suppose, the universe tastes like?
raspberries and rum?
a delicate concoction of flavours;
fresh snow, born from the Heavens above
hot magma, brewed from the depths of Hell.
but i’m not religious, so i’ll only cry for wind and dirt.
is it too much to ask, to stay here for eternity
until i have deciphered all the wonders of the universe and collected them in little vials
to be put on my bookshelf, named and dated for me to admire?

dear my universe,
who decided to dim the lights and close the curtains
who lit the stage with stars and space dust
who cast the planets as our actors,
twirling endlessly for an audience of nothing and everything all at once;
who threw the asteroids like rotten tomatoes
who is more unsatisfied than we are?
who wants answers more than we do?
timelessly curious of the abyss beyond our persistent hands.

i’m scared, you tell me.
scared of what will happen when the world ends, scared of who will whisper our legacy.
if the desperate marks we have left on Earth are washed away by time and decay
who will tell our stories, who will study our histories?
i smile and lie down on the grassy hilltop. the stars, i say. after all
the stars will tell stories, just not everyone can hear them.

Connie Liang

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