EMERGING ARTISTS & WRITERS: SOPHIA LI & REINA NELSON
PROGENY OF THE NIGHT
That night you were staggering down the moss-cobbled street, rounding round the rusted curb, arms shooting out as you stumbled into a mail post. You lied on that road, back slumped over the gutter, broken teeth gnawing on an apple core, eyes closed to the world. You spit out the black pits, and they rolled down the sidewalk cracks. I leaned against a wall, thinking about whiskey. It was a ghost town. Nothing but ruined copper and scraps of newspaper curdled on concrete. For some reason, the lights still worked. The night brightened by lamp posts, tanning gold like a panner by the creek side, sloshing murky water with his sieve till he found that brilliant yellow gleam. As night grew, we walked past the broken-down brothels, the rotting mansions, towards a greyed motel. There was no clerk at the desk, so I reached into the key cabinet. I noticed something white. A bone. We didn’t touch anything else in our room that night. Didn’t dare open any of the closets.
We feared finding more skeletons.
INDEX OF INCURABLE
apples, ask me quickly, ask me quietly, allspice boy, are you ok?
broken body, bloody knuckles, blue, bowling alleys
cobalt, call me for the love of god call me
dark, danger, doleful, don’t worry don’t worry don’t worry don’t
embers, earthling, everything is peaceful (alternate translation: you’d be a better mother than mine)
forget about it, fallen angel
gone, getting cold, green, grey
hold me (under stars underwater like a baby, like a brother), halestorm, Hell, hominy, heart (mine): irregular, incurable. full stop.
inside me: a baby, ice cold, intermittent, interlocking, ill,
kleptomaniac (me), killer (you)
lucid, lochness, lily, lioness, let me, lullaby
mother mother mother. me or military?
orange peel, orange, orange, omen
play, pill bottle, pause, purple
rot, rotten, rotting,
sugar, sweet, sudden rain, shower, shudder, stop asking me
told you so, turquoise
urgent, unearth, undress
velcro, vibrations, Venus
who are you who am I if I am not loving (aster: afterthought or the wish that things had happened differently)
exed out chest, exed out eyes (not green)
yellow yellow yellow yellow
lemon zest, sour sour sour sour sorry
Sophia Li is a student at the St. John's School in Houston, Texas.
Reina Nelson attends New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She writes in the hopes that one day her words will make people fall in love, with things they don't know the names of.