plain china: best undergraduate writing

Volume One : Issue Two


by Renee LaGue

Bedsheets by Lucia Hawley Bedsheets by Lucia Hawley

An alignment requires another body
riven from a nebula’s pasty chroma;
a crook of an elbow or a socked foot

silently scuffing a frozen floorboard.
I am up again just waiting; I am up again; I am
metabolizing this atom-thin January.

If I were a rock lying under snow,
I would not need to breathe or believe
in the vertigo of weightless space

between young, loose clusters
waltzing sweaty-handed, dust
swirling around bare ankles.

Some women can chart transects
of bodies moved by their beauty.
I shove another log in the stove

and watch sparks sizzle, then die
in the frigid and pixellated dawn.
I am only an experimental being;

madly snowshoed and in transit through
this leafless stack of matter,
not seeing what nobody sees.

About the Author

Renee LaGue

Oberlin College

Renee LaGue majored in creative writing and environmental studies at Oberlin College, where she received the Battrick Poetry Fellowship and the Miroslav Holub Science Poetry Prize. She currently lives in northwestern Connecticut, where she is writing fiction and wrangling vegetables on an organic farm.