Elaine Hsiang

MD Candidate // Poet // Public Health Researcher


there is a girl who closes her eyes. she takes a breath. a paint brush, and brushes her cheeks with the beginning of color. she paints the shape of a cloud. out of the folds she draws the last time she made winter a lemon tart. winter carried a long straw beard and sang in a four-piece chorus. up in the mountains she leaves winter and interrupts the honey dripping in her chest. a gift from a past lover. she collects the sweetness in a jar and watches it drink open the sun. she would do this for years. for now she dusts the tide an amber gold, maps an atlas for the hands she will soon again hold.

she sets her brush down to let her clouds dry. in a minute she will pull them over her head like covers. open her mouth for a yawn. and come home to herself.



these days are for wringing out light & smelling banana bread

& feeling in between your ribs for that pain that sits

politely at the dinner table. the occasional guest

who speaks up when your laughter ends & someone

will excuse you to wonder in front of a dusty mirror

how to choose between a garden to tend & the business of

saving lives? a song is playing through the bathroom vent.

it’s a song about somebody else & you close your eyes.