Elle Wong

Past Lives

The loneliest things in this world

have never been named--the blister on your foot

the day you buried your father

and your good heels split in the mud, or

the final report papercut circling your thumb

like a ring--never kissed--

and behind your ear, that scar from the bumblebee

at the summer picnic who made you cry

until mom had to drive you home. There are no names

for these purple hurts, a forgotten ocean of them

bleached, collected, and sealed into bone-tight compartments

so that no one will know them, not even you

until a winter nosebleed or rain slick puddle

bring them rushing back, like all your pet rats

and canaries and frozen guinea pigs in the backyard, surrounded 

by dirt and worms— just wanting to be named. Just wanting 

to be held.


The first generation child of an immigrant mother, Eliana Rebecca Wong is a native Kentuckian from Lexington and Berea. Transgender, disabled, and a survivor, she writes out of necessity. Elle is currently an English major at Berea College, with plans for a Creative Writing MFA after. A GSA and SCAPA alumni, she has been published in pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture, and Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems.  


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