Sueyeun Juliette Lee

condensation, not a linear flame




With animal preparation, nest into moist birch curls rich with secretive lavender teeth. Powder pale fragrance dusts the bridge of my nose when I raise my head to catch a thick breath. Push deeper—dark roots lit with quicksilver heave beneath your murmuring mouth for hours. Tear and tie the rough linens of those sinews with a syncopated intensity, muscles swollen to gleam. And of what honest gravity—

Lamplit then drawn down, likewise pull magenta spurts into quick succession until they recede. Observe onyx marbles as they roll sideways over rough planks, meditate on ancestral pathways like migratory swarms through the sky. Your tongue flickers into mine with slow condensation, not a linear flame, and my spine takes on the horizon. Curve resplendently over black red coals, rolling them methodically over and over and over again into delirious dissipation, into the finest dark dust. Drag citrine through them to hold in your mouth for days.

At dusk, we see how the fuchsia rose gleam of gone catches in ice’s stiff columns clinging gently from the trees. Seek out the endless turns of water’s mutability, how it miraculously captures the day’s quiet speech. My mouth glides over its slick script, noting mineral composites as they slip down the smooth walls of my throat. Churn. Kneel and lap the slow bitumen seeping out from between my legs, taste the hesitating starlight before its final jet of black flame.

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SUEYEUN JULIETTE LEE grew up three miles from the CIA and currently lives in Denver, where she works as the Program Director for Chinook Fund. A 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts for Literature in Poetry, her poetry books include That Gorgeous Feeling (Coconut, 2008), Underground National (Factory School 2011), Solar Maximum (Futurepoem 2015), and No Comet, That Serpent In the Sky Means Noise (Kore Press, 2017), as well as numerous chapbooks. From 2006-2016 she ran Corollary Press, a chapbook series dedicated to innovative multi-ethnic writing, now held in special collections at SUNY Buffalo and the University of Arizona.