if you listen closely you can hear the stars flicker

we always look skyward for guidance
so i know
what i saw that day.
          how the sun turned our bodies into
wounded echoes so soft they
feared being snuffed out
          by an errant thought.
the way light held us there
two wildfires stalled in want.
no lazy cloud dared fly
over us.

that summer i drowned an old self
in the river, maybe two
          under the company of stars.
tired of waiting for god
i put my faith in something
           i could wish on.

i found him
always asleep with his fists clenched
buried under
            a pillow stretched thin with worry.
his breathing
a theory of tenderness
          steeped in the essence of us.
the moon smeared across his back          
          illuminating a glossy dark colt
beside me & my own body
fearing his warmth

i listened for the stars
but like anything i loved
they wouldn’t spare me.
          i stepped out the door
& they tore through the sky to
pin me
          to his floorboards.

Han Luong

Han Luong is a poet based in California. She received a BA in creative writing from the University of Winchester in England. When she's not writing, she enjoys letting her cats out to sunbathe and karaokeing.

Hailey Renee

Hailey Renee Brown is a professional illustrator born and raised in mid Michigan. A former field biologist, she moved across country from Michigan to New Jersey, also moving from science to commercial art. A professionally trained artist, she attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, NJ. She was selected the recipient of the 2017 Norman Maurer Memorial Award as well as the 2019 Joe Kubert Jumpstart Project.