We walk along the towpath, crushing stone
and weaving through the graceless trees.
Yes, we speak, and yes,
the sky is an unstained blue,
but no, our eyes don’t meet. To circumvent
each obstacle, a puddle or
a branch, I move right
and you move left, a parting
symmetry. Perhaps the body knows
what the mouth does not.
You quote Neruda
in your native tongue, so sweetly
I think I could cry: Y a las bocas azules
frescamente enterradas. You do not tell me
what it means. I do not ask.
Translation, to you, is isometry:
that preserves this distance between us.
Cherry blossoms fall upon us
like winter snow. Can’t you see?
You’re breaking my heart,
soliloquizing on zebra mussels
and kireji, James Harden’s
Euro step and monochromatic
cliques. My lips tremble
with everything I have
not said. I want to slap you. I want
to clutch you desperately, and yet my rage
is frail as sodden lace. I gesture
toward the point at which
the towpath seems to end, at which
the trees blur. Isn’t it sad
how those lines will never meet? Well,
you say, it is possible
for parallel lines to intersect—
in a projective plane, at infinity.
Yes, I say. In your world, yes, but not in mine.
Emily Yin is a sophomore studying computer science at Princeton University. Her writing has been recognized by the UK Poetry Society and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. She currently serves as a poetry editor at Nassau Literary Review. Her work is published in the Indiana Review Online, The Establishment, decomP magazinE, and Connotation Press, among others.