/e sun

Life And Death In An Aquarium City

You don’t remember
your own birth, but somehow you remember

the city’s. Each sharp-edged structure
flimsy against the timeless water. After decades

of working past two a.m., plum eyes
ripened by the glow of the laptop screen, you

wish the buildings would split
sooner, that erosion would speed up like a film reel

and bring everything back
to black-and-white smoothness, obedience

to chronology, the passage
of time. Instead: stale water. Disembodied hand

of God feeling around in the glass bowl.

And you,

shadow-slender, breath-
gowned,          rising to the surface.


Esther Sun is a Chinese-American writer from the Silicon Valley in Northern California. A 2020 American Voices nominee, she has been recognized for her writing by the National Young Arts Foundation, Bennington College, and the Alliance for Young Writers and Artists. Esther’s poems are forthcoming from or have appeared in Up North Lit, Vagabond City, Anthropocene, and more.

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