Lantern Review

Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut


someone once said, in order to see
the future, you must betray the past—and when I
laughed at this, he cut my hair at the roots, and kept
me quiet as he split himself in two, becoming
both water rippling, and sand burning
as he entered and swallowed, the wet-hot clove
of his tongue then teeth turning me weightless.

and when I looked again,

my roots had grown amphibious,
these slippery, dry shocks of skin that melted
the snow-white of his hair, these tails of slick oil
starved for hard touch. And as the rest of him
dissolved beneath my glare, I said
to each one, you will always have
a bristling past, always double, while I—
I will be eternal.