March 2022

Back to Issue 11

Straw, Sticks, Brick

By Cyril Wong

What was that word again: the ensuing frustration, that long clawing across the inside of a skull; and what if the word is not the only loss; memories, people, affections; would it be terribly important to mourn; the body still dreaming to become a hoop the world jumps through; an execution swift, but barely memorable; how long before we accumulate again; the self as a straw-house; now sticks, now brick; and then the word returns—unendurable relief, everything else flying back into place; straw, sticks, brick; bursting invulnerability, the gentlest return of fear; unsettling beneath the surface, a tremor; hairline fracture behind wallpaper; yet are we not gleeful for the moment, prancing like children with arms weightless against the ceiling?