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By Irisa Teng

For now, I undetonate. to lunar highlands, the ISS is home

to a conclusion. the sublime pries. to everything, I am only peripheral. 


For now, the footnote my diagnosis. the contemporary

my burning of gravity. I learned optics. I know of being


virtual; the doubled distance between image and object. 

to being decoded, the signals say to the radar. but believe me, even if


I’m only radiation talking, believe me, everything is 


it’s expanding on an inhale

but there’s only so much air I can hold before


the red shift proves my therapist’s notes. before

I’m torn from brain to bone.

Henri-Louis Bergson knew it and I

know it. 




For now, 

but the stitches on my forearms 

dethread. my skin unspools and I’m Voyager 0


t-minus-0 from a heat death. I promised I wouldn’t 

be a supernova, but that was then.


For now, the universe wants 

our ashes. For now, we are born to be cinder.


By Irisa Teng

if space smells 

like a burnt gun


              i want it 

              in my mouth


                            if emptiness smells 

                            like charred air


                                          then it must’ve once 

                                          lost to a fire


                                                        a foster flower that 

                                                        chose itself first


                                                                      a shot! that 

                                                                      took itself out


the universe was created 

by suicide


              a supernova saying No, 

              an atomic breakup


                            an undoing of everything and 

                            nothing, aural


                                          fissures and black points 

                                          in portraits around white


                                                        freckles, it calls. 

                                                        like i’m next, 


                                                                      it calls to me quietly.

Irisa Teng loves a good physics metaphor. A young poet from Washington state, their work appears or is forthcoming in Evanescent Magazine, The Looking Glass Review, and The Eyre. They edit and design for Bardics Anonymous. Beyond writing, they can be found musing about the ever-expanding universe.

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