Requiem / Jay G Ying


These new rivers break back into their ancestry like

the white of an egg flows from a single crack 

on its shell. Our film is witnessed in reverse. Now the

old life is gone—the water forms a mass almost 

like land. When the mist of the New Americas move

along to coagulate in the tropics nowhere nearer—

the coalescing albumin sizzles on the pan from our

Columbus egg. The whiteness of one eye as it leaves 

life behind in the casket—and outside the photo of our

negative moon solidifies after each ceasing tide. 

By the lake it is night now. The coo of the cygnet

wooing in my head but never in real life; those bones 

of the dead birds burn like an Alka-Seltzer. Our film

was stuck in its loop—fast forward to all that 

has died which could be found and mourned for on

the feral frontier. A kind of peace where the broad 

shouldered moon, stoic, was whole again as your

image unbreaks upon the water. The grey tutting 

pines surrounded us, closing in, melancholy like

testimonies for a crime of the century. One moment 

ago the sapped veiny scent from their wet bark after

the acid rain reminded me of home; my mind 

diffused past each wooden face as easily as

one marches down a corridor out of bounds, opening one

cell door here, next one there, finding every room

empty inevitably. Every wall was burdened by its 

violent weight of water, only to be filled in, like the

insides of a tree, with the unremarkable pathos 

of things. No electricityThe generator was playing

up; so we scrubbed the reel clear just to repeat it. 

Jay G Ying’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The White Review, PBS Bulletin, Ambit, amberflora and The Willowherb Review. He was the winner of the 2017 Poetry Book Society Student Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the inaugural Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize. He is currently a postgraduate student in Edinburgh, Scotland.