Volatile, Anna Koeferl
The house is on fire,
And I’m not leaving yet.
I’m not going to save the cat lying next to the split star fruit.
Or the two origami cranes on the banister.
I’m not going to save you, either. For you look most untouchable
Asleep: body embalmed in the crocheted blanket.
Outside, your flannel is left to dry
On the begonia tree.
It’s a quiet night for burning.
And I think:
This is how I leave, and this is how I will return.
I crave to touch what survives of you. Like the passing of tongues,
Two Achaean runners handing a lit torch to each other.
About the Author
Ethan Luk · Princeton University
Ethan Luk was born and raised in Hong Kong. His work has been recognized by 92Y, The Kennedy Center, One Teen Story, Sine Theta Magazine, and Cosmonauts Avenue, among others. He is currently an undergraduate at Princeton University. This piece first appeared in Nassau Literary Review.
Anna Koeferl · Harvard University
“Volatile” first appeared in The Harvard Advocate. This piece was first featured in plain china in 2018.