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Crumpled White Tissue Dropped Into Liquid by Rushika Wick


Crumpled white tissue, wanting to be an origami swan.

She's trying so hard though discarded,

creases like folds of soft skin, each holding a program of disintegration.

The surface of the moon might dream of her linear and polygonal territories, see her

floating in the darkness of space; a monolith, porous and weightless.

The moon will think her uneroded.

A lily, diminishing, decaying, holding the shock of bright pollen,

full of particles of death and truth, a lily made of swan-down. Motionless in water.

Holding a thousand times its weight and the whole architecture of a city, suddenly set in

quivering jelly.


So I am buffeted by breath, meshed body hoping to be fully permeable. I cannot hold more

light and shadow. I am waiting for transformation, slipping into a glass of turgid Mescal,

moving limbs sinking, finally holding weight, making contact for more than a second with

another surface, octopus on the sea bed. You will think that I am a dancer in white linens, no longer aimless. You will be told that I am vitreous sediment, settling within the globe of your eye - a snowstorm within. You will perhaps think nothing of me and that will be just as well. My time is short, too short for me to care what you think of me, but long enough to have movement, catch the light, to desire and be devoted. Cellulose slipping away, a slush of translucence.


Rushika Wick is a poet with an interest in the intersections between social control structures and the body. She has been published in the Poetry Review, Ambit and Magma amongst others. Her debut collection came out in 2021 with Verve.


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