Selfishness (Published in past edition)

I liked you in the same way that I don’t like anyone I’ve ever met

because I’m seventeen and I hate everything. I don’t believe in love,

don’t believe in eyes being windows to the soul and melting

midblink just to coalesce like god-sanctioned raindrops.

I don’t believe in anything because it’s stupid.

The world is tiny and life is too short to be coalescing

With anyone, anything but myself and my assorted compulsive lies.

I couldn’t believe in going anywhere when I die

but the thing is energy can neither be created nor destroyed

and I could take a multimeter right now

and measure an electric current across my fingers

and where will that go when my heart stops beating?

I refuse to believe that god has a lease

on all the electricity in the universe

because it belongs to physics and I haven’t

found any god in physics, just men sheathed in stardust.

I didn’t pray when you died because I don’t believe

and I didn’t cry because you weren’t mine

but I thought about you in my selfishness

and maybe my synapses firing weakly in oblivion

met your electricity somewhere by the Crab nebula

and the photons of that spark meant something to someone

that I can’t explain because I’m still seventeen,

stuck between hating everything and missing people I never even knew.

Emeline Liu