Rowan WuBrooklyn (ink on paper)

Waking up in a room
that’s not yours, blue
& white lights flashing

in symmetrical patterns.
This is a subtle reference
to a place I know

& don’t know. Everything
is familiar in the dark.
The first time I ever saw

words in the sky, I was 19
& alone & there was a skyline
disappearing behind me.

Above, a message in gas:
TODAY. This is the part

of history where we advertise
in the sky. I write down
the message. I save pennies

& I save my bottle caps.
Collecting tokens of a life
I don’t have, but could.

We’re all different geniuses.
When you buy a coffee
in some foreign city & they

treat you like a local & you
act like one even though
you know you’re not. Like

driving through a tunnel
& the radio voices turn
to one soft buzz. Whistling

cars. When I looked
back up, the words
in the sky had widened

& flattened. If god is shaped
like the sky, he is covered
in scratches. That is how I know

I look like him. The problem
with all this is the problem
of water: to evaporate, to linger.


Talin Tahajian