Turning, 2019

Alvin Chung

I, too, dreamt of harp strings

that would bind your world with mine. 

I, too, dreamt of the sea

amidst mythical islands—


For our dreams are only hints

of beginnings that never were,

of islands that would never bridge,

of warm chords you would always inspire.


Yes, I transformed my veins into guitar strings

and I turned my body into a Greek lyre.

Yes, I traded my throat for your ghost

as I poured my blood into your favourite vase—


So that flowers may grow,

so that the sun will rise,

so that you can turn the wheel,

and listen to my silent song.


I have been to Isla Negra;

I know the poet’s bone will not absorb the sea.

I have been to Antarctica;

I know wisdom does not sleep below the iceberg’s tip.


And when you turn the moonlit wheel,

everyone will hold out their tongue—

in search of a lost language,

in search of a ghostly whimper.


And when you turn the moonlit wheel,

an albatross will slit the bloodstained sky—

in search of another changing,

in search of another, paler night.

Alvin is a media and communications/laws student majoring in economics at the University of Sydney.