by Arah Ko

I didn’t know
I was angry until lightning

pulverized the stream and I felt

No quiver at the flashbulb
naked river rocks

water leapt away
from like a cutdown dress,

red sea peeled
along its sandy floor.

No trembling
fear at static vapor

only a field from my tiny tin
can car humming

along a Midwest road.
Instead, I became brittle,

teeth ground down the way
they do at night,

jaw working away bone,
molars locked.

Under heat and pressure, some
substances and people

melt, soft warmth
giving up form

as molten glass, liquid gold. Others
sinter when struck—

brittle pieces break
off: iron, cullet, bone, sea

shell. Did you know parts
of you could splinter like hit flint,

shatter like volcanic glass?
If not now,

you will.

I didn’t stop to check
the flash termination,

smoldering entry
wound. I didn’t

even look. I drove home.

Arah Ko is a writer from Hawai’i. Her work is published or forthcoming in New Ohio ReviewSalt HillThe MarginsLantern Review, Sugar House Review, and elsewhere. She serves as Art and Associate Poetry Editor for The Journal. When not writing, Arah can be found tending to a jungle of houseplants with her cat, Anakin. Catch her at