Bio: My name is Tah Ai Jia, and I’m 17 years old. I’m a Chinese Malaysian poet and I am currently studying Foundation studies at Trinity College, University of Melbourne.
Editor’s note: Tah’s poem plays with language, nature and atmosphere to create a gripping and engaging work! Weather writing has been done before, but Tah breathes fresh air into what could otherwise have been a stale genre.
Clouds shift through me whenever you breathe;
They whisper water vapour into my
fractured bones and swirl strangled spots onto
my ruptured skin. With arms stuffed from watered-
down hail and diluted wind, I can feel
their breeze on the inner folds of my knees.
The trees sway lower whenever you speak;
Autumn leaves play games of hide and seek as they
swish-swoosh in sync to your vowels and beats.
They pop and lock to the uneven speech
running through your teeth, as your tongue fails to
secure them in your lips’ cherry knot grip.
Stars soar higher whenever you blink;
11:11 heartbeats shroud me
in hibernation as the moon glistens
in the shining afterglow of falling
meteorites— Oh, how your night sky em-
braces me in your never-ending dream
of quiet; how your lullabies have touched
my raining heartbeats sandpapered and limp.
Mirrors reflect light whenever you sleep;
My image ripples in response to your
soft snores and twitching toes. The blankets swim
in skips along the ocean, and my arms
ache to drown in search of island treasures.
Squiggly lines for kisses are nothing; For
clouds allude to carved feathers but leave me
in peace when I scratch for comfort, Autumn
leaves cease to exist when in contact with
my skin, stars escape their cages when no
one thinks to see, the song of dreams erodes
into ceramic vases of chopped rose
stems and gardened cactus leaves, and buried
gold are decomposing wishes and (what–
ifs) left dripping on the tips of my swollen l i p s.