Sonnet for the Second Coming

Ashley Wang  

after Howl's Moving Castle

A waltzing chord breaks loose, like turnip sforzando:

we dance to beats of hulking iron, ablaze in copper

sky. I, in flight through this ravine, scouring erasure

like blades on whitewashed skulls. And you, horizontal,

hips brushed against the kiss of warships and hollow

missiles. Let’s watch this jagged collage as one: bomber

ballet across the spines of violins. Let’s calcify our

seduction, turn the lever to the green. We’ll spin into a feral

landscape, steal away from landmine fields. Remember now:

the key to war is absence. When I saw you first—a vision

in the grass, I swallowed a star, coughed out my heart

and staked it in a fire. I dug the muscle like a plough,

full-throttled the engine of my crusade. I launched invasions,

strung a lighthouse on your finger. Just to hold you here.

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