The girl, bodiless,
prostrates herself

before a giant,
right-leaning eye

angled at 45 degrees.
Genderless, half-lidded

copper electric furnace,
pupil an unearthly fire.

Are you real she asks.
Are you alive?

It blinks once.
Shapeshifting blue-green

angels with symmetrical
wings dance around

the eye, say
look here, now look here.

Everything alive
at once

on a carrier wave
of crackling, buzzing, humming.

From a single blade of grass
defying the wind

to a human being
daily defying death.

Tuning fork within
the core of a planet.

She is here
at the gateway

without loss, mourning,
grief, sadness.

She misses no one.
But she wants to know,

wants knowledge of
the dead.

You are not ready for this
and she is shoved

back down to her body,
entrance atop the center

of her skull.
Awake. Not nothing.

ALIA HUSSAIN VANCROWN: has published in journals and magazines in print and online. Her poetry has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She was selected to participate in Winter Tangerine's 2018 workshop, Singing Songs Crooning Comets, featuring seminars by Kaveh Akbar and Aricka Foreman. Alia works at the Library of Congress in the Law Division. She currently resides in Maryland.


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