“Starlight Stitches,” “A Collection,” and “A Moment Lost”

“Starlight Stitches,” “A Collection,” and “A Moment Lost”

Starlight Stitches

In the galaxies                                    pooling in the waiting room

      where black holes hum the prelude

                              to creation

we chart the shushed diagnosis

                   embossed in the orbit of

                                       the body’s forgotten comets.


A neon billboard              blinks

      across the expanse of our silence.

I parse               the Morse code of your breath

                   across the nebula                         each sigh

                            a collapsing star, giving way to the formation

    of new worlds within the black hole’s void


We do not speak; our language lost

        in the translation

                from heartbeat

                                   to heartbeat, a melody

brewing in the vacuum,

       waiting for the moment to explode

           into a thousand dawns.


Your hand, a continent adrift, finds mine

                     marked by the erosion

of countless parting    fingertips that etch rivers

down the valley                where our longing

meets its delta

               and begins anew.


Beneath the snakeskin, my stories hum

                                          within my bones, every journey

                             towards and away from you,

a cartography of scars mapping the routes

                       where I’ve searched

         for the seam

that stitches the night to the day.


Here, our presence is a defiance

                                         against the entropy that seeks to disperse

our fingertips                          to render us apart and alone

                   in winter’s expanding universe.


                    In the cosmos, where matter and meaning meld

we discover the architecture             of a bridge

built from the cinders of dying stars

   a path back to the singularity

             from which all things sprang.


We are starfarers                 navigating the cosmos

           without a compass                       guided

                                         by the constellations

scattered          across our interlocked hands.

A Collection

                        A green-cased novel

slivered the librarian’s mundane vast emerald sea of books.

                        Adjacent lies another,

                         a find from a lazy Sunday market,

its pages yellowed—a collection

                                                                                                                                          not planned, but birthed:

                        an homage to aged parchment.

                        Like ivy climbing a forgotten wall, the collection grew until the shelf bowed.


                        When does a collection become a hoard?

When a passion morphs into an obsession—

                        The rushed turning of leaves

                                                                                                                           in a room still with anticipation,

                                                                                                      where outside, the world whirls in chaos.

Enough is enough—whispered the pages; perhaps,

                                          when the stories no longer sing but scream—

                    when the space for new tales

dwindles to a narrow sliver.


                                        But for now, it stands, threatening to collapse under the weight

                    of muzzled stories and marred dreams.

Moment Lost

after E. E. Cummings “l(a, A Leaf Falls with Loneliness

I tread lightly, fear wrapped in silence around me,

like an autumn leaf on the cusp of falling

as death casts its long, unmoving shadow.

Surrounding me is your curtain of indifference

— not just a veil but a fortress, impenetrable and cold,

teaching me what it means to be alone in a crowded room.

This indifference, a silent violence

— an erasure not of body, but soul, squeezing the breath

from my lungs until my spirit yearns for release. But a day approaches

—a turning of tides, where my cares dissolve into the aether,

and I shall no longer mimic the leaf succumbing to autumn's call.

In that moment of liberation, I wonder

if curiosity will finally stir within you.

When my presence is a whisper

you strain to hear in the wind, will you wonder

— is it possible, after all, to catch a falling leaf?

Or will you realize, in rue, the weight of a moment lost?

About the Author

Leonardo Chung

Leonardo Chung is from Illinois and a finalist for the 2024 Witness Literary Awards. He also claimed second place in the 2023 William Faulkner Literary Competition. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Chautauqua Journal, Superstition Review, Full House Literary, Hyacinth Review, Sheepshead Review, Sweet Literary, and many others. He takes inspiration from distinguished poets such as Langston Hughes, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Louise Glück.