Andrew Liu 🔈
Medea Negotiates With Wind
Ice blooms lacily, lazily,
across the dead face
of a hollow astronaut.
Medea pulls her sallow witch’s dress
around her, clumsily, high wind
howling, bitter is her bone
with chill, with the kill
of the morning’s breakfast: rabbit,
boar, deer, wild oxen.
A dead astronaut
and across his hollow face,
ice blooms lazily, lacily.
in frost, across a face
of a window, pain
flares through her body,
expansive sky, a shroud
of black treadmills, each flare
a bullet, a kinesis, a firing squad
And then, the night,
at last, herself
sharing in emptiness
an emptied sky.
Across an astronaut’s
hollow face, ice blooms
the wind writes out a name,
but she has replaced those names
with months, with the number of years,
between the suspended needle
numbers half-fluid, half-forgot, two faces
(childishly she runs from what fear effaces)
in water, two faces in every drop,
the action of unforgetting, the process
of half-remembering, with days spent dazed
in her ear/inner ear
she whispers Colchian lullabies,
the habit of motherhood
none undone by blood,
but hands shake, the years haunt
with their open mouths, such songs
are sung more for herself, her serfs
unwind wool, a loom pools her eye
on the red of the thread, and then, unfed,
servants pour slop in the trough for the two
twin dragons, everyone thinks
she rode off into night sky
to a palace, some jet-black
obsidian tower, no, oh no,
if she could remember
how to stroke out the fine detailing
of French velvet with a limb of charcoal
she’d count herself lucky.
In the wintered field,
where ice blooms
lacily, lazily, dead astronauts
shatter their own faces
with gloves soaked
in salt-stunned dew.
And, as if it mattered, she no longer
begs for a beginning, sorrows over
tomorrow, beseeches beech trees, or
talks about the way he walked
over to her, the way the same name sounds,
over and over again, (don’t plead,
don’t bleed), a head, in bed, red,
boys can eat a girl’s heart
as easily as plucking a cherry
branch from the high head
of the kings' orchard, royal
blooms for a royal you,
whatever, it is
true, she was
what she was.
In the field
of dead astronauts,
One day she talks
against the wind. Walking
into the woods, a girl
in a widow’s dress,
speaking in the Colchian dialect,
“fuck you… fuck you…"
She finds the field where he found
his way in, old man in an astronaut’s suit.
The wind there is sharp, its voice
in a minor, shovel in hand,
she breaks September ice,
she buries an old man
she once knew.
And walks home alone
and goes back to her room
holding herself in arms so cold
they feel like somebody else.
About the Author
Andrew Liu grew up in Southern California. He is a 2020 graduate of California State University - Long Beach’s Creative Writing MFA program. He has previously published with Milestone and Riprap.