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When a Question Curls into Gentle Vowels
Ariel So

00:00 / 01:18

They say home is a place bearing on loved ones, an easily misplaced
location in a stranger’s arms, and love is walking hand in hand,
not knowing whether the road intertwines into a long-winded
argument, or if the jazz catapults to an end in its
first step. A state of being, sitting on the couch,
his leaning forward, my leaning back, then his leaning
back again, a cha-cha of movement. His stuttering speech,
my hesitation to spit rumination out the window
when I feared there was always “this, and so much more”—
that to say what I mean was “not what I meant, at all.”
Instead, his ellipses of utterances brought me to
the saxophone musing into non-treaded places,
toes tapping to syncopation, words understood at
their own measure. Soon, there would be no more queries,
his door belonging to another stranger’s hands, and our
moon-shaped crusted eyes as trinkets of that ungodly
hour. Sometimes, a question is answered. Other times, the answer
is a home without the asking; the dance is all there is to be said.

Ariel Joy So is a Chinese poet—born and raised in Hong Kong—who has also lived in Singapore and the United States. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Tupelo Quarterly, Moot Point Magazine, Bee Infinite Publishing, Protest Through Poetry, and elsewhere. She graduated from Scripps College with a BA in English and Creative Writing Emphasis. Currently, she is pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Columbia University.

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