Discordant

Written by: Hana Ryusaka

My guitar strings in the moonlight should be something beautiful,

but the cold liquid white just makes everything harsher.

–not soft like snow, but deceptively fine –

Light is discordant 

like my clumsy fingers that keep 

mutilating the restless heavens with their attempts at mourning.


Why won’t they move right,

Don’t they realize how much depends on perfection?


I’m right here; I mutter to the stars and pray they spread it out over you

Like the night they hold up while atlas dreams.

But I’m not there. I’m not even anywhere –

I can’t put a finger on me.

I’m not real. I whisper over the translucent shell of my existence 

and drench myself in intangible alabaster…

and I’m not real because I need your voice

to tell me I’m not invisible,

to stop me from falling up like a red balloon.

I don’t want to be the scar in the sky anymore.


I’m looking at patterns of patterns of the beyond

and no matter how many constellations I calculate in my head

the lines here, here, and here, easy as you please

I shiver because I know it makes no sense.

Not like we did.


I’m walking on edges of that metallic element of pale

and grasping red-rimmed fistfuls of atmosphere

but they’re never close enough, the stars–

and that’s why they’re there. That’s what I’ll tell my children. 

They’re just the paint-brush splattered whim of 

some malevolent deity –

Maybe we all are. I write it down, “paint-splatter of flesh” 

tracing finger-prints through indignant sprigs of lawn.

But I might as well be writing on the bathroom mirror 

because the words still won’t come out right.


And now everything’s backwards –

and you can’t fall up

and you can’t explain god

and you can’t fix light, even if it looks broken

and you can’t reflect sound, even if you angle it just so.


I can’t live like this.