Illustration by Li Ya Wen

Let’s say 

you are a goblin

and I am a goblin,

we are ugly and small 

and we smile a small smile 

at each other; our little mouths, 

our dirty teeth. 


In the mornings 

we are as green

as the living leaves 

gliding in the garden

of Eden. As green

as the caterpillars crawling

on pillars of trees.


We are yellow

under the mellow sun, walking 

like tourists to the caves of men,

vandalizing their portraits

in stone. In their faces, I scratch 

a mustache. On their bellies,

you dye a butterfly.


I am jealous of the birds 

and their wings; how they fly

and stare as you stand atop the palm 

trees, how the sky is only bright 

behind you. How you become blue 

beneath the sunset, how the horizon 

pales in comparison. For once 


the evening comes in its blanket 

of black, we will sit like children,

sipping coconuts in their very shells

then wearing them as hats. 

Then we’ll be brown beside the fire

like we are human once again 

and not a husk. 


Let’s say tonight, 

I am human

as you are human

and we don’t need a fire.

We will smile a small smile

and you are warm as I am warm 

between your arms.