Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Thirty-third Contest :: Honorable Mention


Collateral Beauty

by Joyce Bian
At 4 a.m. on a day when May is still a rose-cheeked child,
when the wild darkness of a cold night is streaking into blue,
outside the open windows of the highest turret in the library,
a nameless bird begins to sing. As the song floats
across the letter I have written to the insomniac moon and sinks
into the binding of the books I have nodded off over,
its collateral beauty brings my tired, faltering attention
to the knowledge that this has all been done before.
At 4 p.m. that same day, I feel as though I have walked
a lifetime’s worth of stumbling steps, made blunders and troublesome
silences enough to embarrass a millennium. Winds breathe today
with a fervor uncharacteristic of rose-cheeked May,
and there is the airy collateral beauty of falling
cherry blossoms that catch fleetingly in tangling hair.
But the birdsong and the petals are collateral to the message I received
four years ago today, telling me of the plundering flames
that sent a home and half my heart into the sky as sparks flew upward,
and although the intervening rose-cheeked Mays have aged and slipped
away as well, and this too has all been done before, I still
miss you and miss you and miss you

About the Author
I am a premedical student at the University of Pennsylvania studying biology. I enjoy writing because it's important for me to balance my studies with other interests. Additionally, writing and other forms of creative expression are an important form of communication for me, and a way of saying, “I feel this way, do you feel the same?”
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