plain china: best undergraduate writing

Volume One : Issue Two

The Bones That Build Your Back


by Adrienne Chung

Chapel in Winter by Jenny Brum Chapel in Winter by Jenny Brum

In maps, I look for you,
In myth, in frames, but mirrors—

I can watch you quietly, a subtle
glance, then wayward fall against
The gravity of spine, the trail of
bones that builds your back

That twist and pull, the tides of water
rolling endless under bridges—
The suspension pulling cables into
latticeworks of song.

I can watch your neck, a steeple
spiring white above those waters
In a willowy sway, astray:
a turret that hovers in cloud.

But to know you bone and sinew
forming bridges unto steeples—
There is no truss I would not climb
to see where you begin.

About the Author


Adrienne Chung

Stanford University

Adrienne Chung, a recent graduate of Stanford University, lives in Berlin, Germany.