About This Morning
by Topaz Winters
There are hours left, you say. Hours—
plenty of time for coffee, doctors, for grocery
stores. Plenty of time for baptism.
Outside the window, birds sing, even though
life is unfair & everyone is going to die.
Inside this room, it smells like toaster waffles.
Your cat walks up to me, butts her head
against my hands. I wonder if naming
an animal is a form of violence.
Hey, you say. You’re thinking too much again.
I say: how can you tell? & you gesture to
the cat, say: you’re not petting her.
I pet your cat. You hum under your breath. I think:
the absence of a name is, too, an act of cruelty.
I look at the window at the birds. In my head, I
name one Worship & another Warship. I name
the tree they’re perched on Futureless Language.
I name the squirrel beneath Healing Out Loud.
The waffles are ready, you say.
There’s plenty of time to eat them, I tell you.
Outside, the wind talks right at us.
Living things continue to live, rose pink & fully
unastonished by how much of this world
sees them completely.
Lovesong to Vernal Equinox, Standard Time
by Topaz Winters
Trillions of beautiful things but just one you.
& isn’t that miraculous, the earth giving up
its glory in springtime. Choral & dimpled.
The longest night is passed, meaning will
come again sooner than any of us want to
admit. Every last bud smells like what we’ve
lost. I love you right now & this does not
mean I won’t ever love anything else, it
means I can’t help but love everything else.
The walls—nonexistent, windy—casting
their images of light back into my eyes.
Tender as the world that wakes up again,
despite. To pass through a season instead
of scrubbing yourself with it is a little fate,
a little luxury. I am so windchime, I am so
porch swing, I am so in love with spring
I want to wear it on my wrist like perfume.
The deepest ache playing on repeat: there
is nothing new here, except for everything.
The sun sways atop us, dwelling in her
own newness, & for a single day in March
we are unafraid to be man-made, unafraid
of the memory of hurricanes, unafraid
to kiss out loud.
Topaz Winters (they/she) is a poet, essayist, editor, creative director, speaker, scholar, actress, & multidisciplinary artist. Among their internationally award-winning & critically-acclaimed creative credits include working as the author of three books (most recently poems for the sound of the sky before thunder, Math Paper Press, 2017), writer & star of the short film SUPERNOVA (dir. Ishan Modi, 2017), creative director & editor-in-chief of the arts organisation Half Mystic (est. 2015), speaker of the TEDx talk Healing Is a Verb (2017), & creator of the digital art installation Love Lives Bot (est. 2018). Their peer-reviewed research on poetry, identity, & the sociopolitical underpinnings of queerness in Singapore is published in the Journal of Homosexuality. They are the youngest Singaporean ever to be nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the youngest writer ever to be published by Math Paper Press, & the youngest scholar ever to be published in the Journal of Homosexuality. They were born in 1999, reside at topazwinters.com, & study literature & film at Princeton University. They enjoy chai lattes, classic rock, wildflowers, & the colour of the sky when nothing is dreaming of it.