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Angle of Refraction

When the morning is wet and colorless
I rise for a swim. I slink

Hot in my own body like a bully’s breath
Under porous waters, and drown

Backstroking. The pool tosses me
Into formlessness, the image refracting
In horror.

Lungs can break nothing
Into something. I am never
As woman as cavern –

Empty and heavy, the ribcage
Slicked with aloe, the surface breaching
Into tricks of the light.

Lilian Ha is a student from the suburbs of Seattle, Washington. Her work is featured or forthcoming in The James Franco Review, Yellow Chair Review, Rogue Agent, Sweet Tree, and Berkeley Poetry Review, among others. She is currently reading for Winter Tangerine and will be continuing her studies at Columbia University in the fall.

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