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Helena Jiang

All the Stars that I Have Lost 


All the stars that I have lost 

Converge at the heart of these streets that looks like yours. 

Red lights burst on from the hasty toaster jammed with traffic 

whenever I am hereby reached. 

Ladders on the pitch, 

on which as cutouts people slouch, 

as the next of the foliage line and dive, 

and teeth of houses close upon their end. 

Nightingales are nested tales. 

Your gaze from me defocuses, and wicks the sun into a wicked smut, 

and something collapses, centripetally. 

A coquettish morning 

packed with provisions 

is drawing out clouds to mask its gobbles. 

I could say so, 

or I could not. 


I could stop many times, 

walking alone, 

and shut my sight when coming upon strangers. 

The sky is fading, 

a colour of whitewashed old jeans. 

A next spoon could only be clutched and a next bowl slurped when the last is 


when one arm is all that is left and had left. 


Look how many bridges they have constructed 

for a single stream through this brief metropolitan life. 

The banks are vibrant with willows, 

the ears with hollows. 

It is windy. You have the wind 

as much as you have other parleys to hold. 


A dark feeling swells the soul, 

as I tread upon time’s crowded arteries 

I become the messenger of Time 

with a magnet 

somewhere inside me. 

I would then never be lost. 

If the sector stretches too ample my wings would thaw. 

If the way bends and winds, 

I would from it flutter and flee. 

I would not linger, 

regardless the light 

somewhere you might have triggered. 


I love the matte, 

where no leaves glitter, 

and no one is forced to glimpse the streaks 

strained upon their eyes. 

You are a past tense, 

squatting inside the story, 

keeking at the world from between the barring lines, 


the way you are foreign to yourself. 


Inside your eyes there hides a light. 

You open your eyes. 

I turn and left. 

I am blind to those homeward joys and sorrows, 

and refrain from dwelling 

on the wayward fact 

that life is effortless, 

but why a past there trowels, 

slowly and hard.

About the Author: Helena Jiang is an undergraduate majoring in English Language and Literature at Shanghai International Studies University, China. 


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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