Love something tender,

chewy, broken in. Translates to ache without border,
expectation blooming to fit the space it’s assigned.

Her name is overcooked. Say it anyway: bright,
memorised, some kind of holy. Nightfall over

& over consuming the skin. Tongue as its own
meal. The girl only as beautiful as she is gone.

Her first love is all these masks. You can’t compete.
Torso threaded in mourning. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m 

nearly finished, I swear it. She is the answer to empty-
handed. Always the smell of burning. The want of

sex in the stomach. It’s evening all afternoon, &
these are the sacrifices you make to finally feel full.

Don’t say summer. That’s too obvious, too clean
for gay girls. Instead, move into vivisection of

history & all its seasonings. Introduce her to your
parents, your gods, your sharpened knives. Fry.

Roar. Eyes in orbit of her mouth. Horizon as edge
of every circle. Didn’t I tell you this would end in tears

eventually? Now here she is in your oesophagus
again. You could kill or kiss her for that. Or

invite her to dinner & pray you remembered to
set out an extra plate. What is it they say about

love? That it’s only possession reimagined. That
it lives outside the body. That it’s florid & empty

& cheating & thankful for so much, so much
it doesn’t know how to name. All her life the girl

has eaten. Now it’s your turn. Doorbell ring.
Quiet bruise. Price of deadly. Anything is yours

if you swallow it.

TOPAZ WINTERS is a poet, editor, actress, & entrepreneur. Her work has been published in Wildness & Winter Tangerine Review, profiled in Maudlin House & Cicada Magazine, & commended by the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards & the National YoungArts Foundation, among others. She serves as the editor-in-chief & creative director at Half Mystic Press; her latest book is Monsoon Dream (Platypus Press, 2016); her latest film is the award-winning SUPERNOVA (dir. Ishan Modi, 2017). At 17, she is the youngest Singaporean ever to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She was born in 1999 & resides at At this moment she is learning of California poppies, the difference between warm milk & forgetting, & how magic behaves in times of desperate measure.