With Liqour

/ Susan Hou

Nonfiction2 min reading time

No. 1

A view of the beach and the space. The ocean waves and cosmos are colored from blue to purple.

To Cornell University and Liberty College,
(you know who you are)

I had my black hair whipping back in the wind at dusk. Do not trail behind me, I warn the dying stars, because they do not know where this mind has been before settling into this tame body. Sometimes it shows—in a jerk of the finger, a twitch of the ear, or the annoyed twisting and turnings of the neck. It’s there, a wild soul that had to be bolted down to flesh.

If I were an instrument I’d be mute, just the flurry of movements, the tension in strings and the grinding of fingertips. But still, I am graceful and that’s why my lovers are drawn. They hear something unspoken. In purple night skies, oh stars why won’t you abandon me? There is nothing in response. I have a habit of tracing the wind with my hand, as I roam the highways in a blazing car. There is nothing to grasp.

So I break people’s hearts, but they don’t break mine. It is not allowed. It is unaccounted for. It is cheap, and flimsy, and untrue. I rage like a charging storm, knocking the wind out of you while I feast upon the remains, gorging on what I will deny as emotion but admit as a hole. There they are and I will challenge their own claim of self. I enjoy this. See, the sea is my God as it erodes away the sand, nibbling bits off, invading acres of land. It’s fun. But she and he are not allowed. In that order, neither of you were allowed.

Going at a hundred, I drive my fingers through my hair, front to back. This baby will stay silent as it hugs the coastline, teetering between the sea and the violet sky. I can’t quite make sense of it.

How do I explain it? At times, she whispers in my ear and this chill just rises from the blue. I dream lucidly while following ebony traces of her. Let me seem rough and dominant before everyone, but I will always doubt myself with you. And your sunshine hair, oh your sunshine hair is such a contrast! Blue eyes that aren’t that clear, a depth I have no knowledge of as I dive. Let me seem bold and dominant, while I actually risk my breath.

I break people’s hearts, but you don’t break mine?

Whatever. A toast to this cold air.

With Liquor