Stacey Tran: I Can Shatter the Cosmos


let’s get lost in a coal field
replaced by gold and neon
ebbing through violet millennia

encapsulate ourselves in the dark dust
skewed with bad news
it is almost black—

is black—

sweetheart, these are for you
a dozen red gamma rays

while you were gone
i found a box of recipes
for eclipses
and potions for equinoxes

at your wish
i can shatter the cosmos

or catch flying fire
in my pockets
to save for later

i even memorized
the formula for hot
showers of light
exploding into silent lust
scorching, and brilliant—

i’ve strung together
the planets for you
to swirl around your neck

but my satellite spun
the opposite direction
and i forgot about gift wrap…

darling, forgive me

look at what i made
with 8.5 x 11 inches
of light—i’ve folded
it up into a ball

let’s play catch

let’s give each other space


with our early retirement funds,
i plan on purchasing a thirtieth story

& with the fold out balcony
i will use our shoelaces
as a rope ladder to the roof.

i will crawl into the attic space
above your head
while you quietly dream—

planting a kiss in your window box of hair
& in the crevice of your elbow
before i go—

in case you wake,
i’ve left wednesday morning 3 a.m.
spinning on low in the kitchen sink.

i will learn the mechanics
of using a telescope
made out of toilet paper rolls—

the stars will sink
into the bottomless speck
of black in my eye—

traveling at the speed
of ecstatic rebirth & finality
chasing the traces of phetamenic stride—

i will wait with their haste
as you wake
till it slows down into honey—

pouring out over pancakes
& the eastern edges
of its great moon plate.

from darkness to darkness,
light finds its harbor
mustering milk & morning—

the meteorites crawl
into the mind’s cosmic chute
desperate for conjunction on their commute—

a billion & one hundred light years
sleep & turn to their lovers
rolling in mars of silence, in heat.

it is enough to fill the inside
of brunelleschi’s
to the roof—

this speck,
this universe, standing naked
facing a mirror of stars.

Editor's Note: These poems appeared in a previous issue.

Stacey Tran is a writer from Portland, OR. She is the creator of Tender Tablea storytelling series about food, family, identity. Her writing can be found in BOMB MagazineThe Brooklyn Rail, and diaCRITICS. She is the author of Soap for the Dogs (Gramma, 2018).