chicory grows by the roadside,
their soft-blunted petals shading blue to purple
in mimicry of dawn. i don’t think we ever
talked through a sunrise. we came close, maybe,
but mostly i remember easing the back door open
to stand ankle-deep in melting snow. i remember
looking up at wispy pinpricks of starlight,
wondering if it would be possible to will them brighter
simply by loving them hard enough.

there’s a sort of wonder in how someone at a loss for words
defaults to saying love. we both dream ourselves
into other worlds. in one you wake up
and everything that ever made you say i wish i never —
has been undone. maybe you’re happier. maybe
i am. in another one i wake up dead
and every breath is intimate as the loneliness
of the only lit window on the street.

when i told you i loved you because
there was nothing else to say, i meant i’m sorry
in the kindest way i could offer. sorry
that even in other worlds, in dream-worlds,
we both learn that a statement beginning with supposed
is far easier to break than any promise.

in certain lights, the list of what i could have saved
begins to look a lot like the list of things
i never tried to save. here, i wake up and chicory blue
is a tint that speaks of safety. but there, i walked away
as the colour bled away from your lips
like the staining of snow filmed in reverse.

Quinn Lui is a Chinese-Canadian student whose work has appeared in Occulum, Synaesthesia Magazine, Half Mystic, and elsewhere. They are the author of the micro-chapbook teething season for new skin (L’Éphémère Review, 2018) and can easily be bribed by soup dumplings or pictures of bees. You can find them @flowercryptid on TumblrTwitter, and Instagram, or wherever the moon is brightest.