Longlisted Poem 2015

Clarissa Siu Long Ning

Headington School, Oxford

A Scientific Analogy Of You and I

Yesterday I learned that there are more nerve cells in the brain than there are stars in the Milky
Way.
That the human mind is more vast and vibrant than any galaxy,
or all of them combined.
And perhaps nothing lasts forever;
even cells have a finite life span.
They are constantly replaced with new versions of themselves
until a person is brand new again
seven years later.
But I would still like to know about all of your universes.
Tell me about the first time you laughed so hard you cried
and let me learn the name of your favourite teacher in primary school.
What about the time in third grade when you thought the world was falling apart
because it was Show-and-Tell day and you forgot to bring an item?
I want to know what you think about when you open your eyes in the morning,
how you take your coffee –
two sugar cubes, no milk, a shot of espresso,
and what makes you stay up at night, eyes glazed with fear,
cold, clammy hands.
I want to learn the names of all the stars in your head,
every constellation that is and ever was.
Even those in the deepest and darkest corners
safely tucked away into aphelion
breathing in dust.
I want to crawl so far into your thoughts that I won’t ever be able to climb back out.
So open up and let me in.
I’m ready to explore every single cell of your body that makes you you.
Ready to try again,
and again, and again, and again,
my hand clasped in yours
as the years pass by in multiples of seven.

© Clarissa Siu Long Ning

Project Details

  • Date May 26, 2015
  • Tags 2015 Cells - Longlisted Poems