There is a girl
beneath the water of the lake,
auburn hair in a braid down her back,
pale skin – the water cold,
no freckles yet on her surface.
Her hand emerges from the lilies.
A childish giggle, chubby fingertips,
lotuses make way for her ripples.
Songbirds dance in my left ear
as she wraps a daisy
around the lobe
of my right.
The forest is silent and
hides the breeze between evergreen leaves.
She whistles; her hair turns blonde as she descends.
How does this child not know how to drown?
I am lured deeper to see,
following young, icy eyes as
my daisy comes closer to an infinite
source of crystal water,
untouched from the spoils of
the chopped bark near the city.
I’m pulled under.
The songbirds hum softer than they do
above the surface.
For a moment, I catch my breath
with my reflection.
- beneath the lotus lake
Art by Sophia Chung