“Abecedarian in secret murmurs,” by Jessica Kim

Abecedarian in secret murmurs

and I will tell you how I am the best liar in the world

but you will only shake your head no. Talk about being 

conceited. A sister posed as crystalware, perched on the 

dining table. One day she will learn to mimic stoicism, 

emotionless and unrelenting. Is this what you want

forgotten love letters, candle wax, all these mementos   

gone. You suddenly begin asking too many questions.

Have you ever ridden the evening train to solitude?  

Is there a vernacular for every loss you don’t know about

just yet? I find it strange, the way you look for answers by 

kniving into a belly. Desperation. Nightfall dips into  

lamplight and all I see is the curvature of your spine in 

mossy silhouette, distilled in freshwater. Perhaps you are 

not human, your limbs dissolving into moondust and

obsidian. For once I will tell you the truth, I was a  

paleontologist in my past life. Mistaking limestone and 

quartz for fossils. Chisel intricate ancestry on each  

rubbled cartilage as if I will be remembered. Erased by 

stillness, some unforgiving longing. Would you break 

tradition for survival? Someday I will discover your ashes 

under my fingernails and wonder where it all ended. 

Victims in the making. I have almost grown too fond of 

windsong, the slow crescendo of a sister’s death on the 

xylophone, hypnosis. You shatter all aspirations with no 

yearning for girlhood. I am awake, sunlight angled at the   

zenith of your fingers. Too late, vaporized in muffles. 

About Jessica Kim

Jessica Kim is a disabled poet from California. A two-time 2021 Pushcart nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Wildness Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, Grain Magazine, Longleaf Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and more. She is the founding editor of The Lumiere Review. Find her at www.jessicakimwrites.weebly.com, or @jessiicable on twitter and instagram.