Gatekeeper of an alluring mirage,
A turtle floats
Restless in the tide.
Look closely and meet
Haunted and lovely, fractured
Look closer and notice
Splinters in its smile, shards of sacrilege
(Don’t be so careless
When you rip them out);
Look closer still and see the hollowed
Mutilation of its vessel, spears
Piercing its throat,
Poisoned with gilded
Gather the turtle in your hands
As it cries its sullied
Song of the sea.
Sorrow pours into you like leaking
Oil, embracing you in its ugly
The water engulfing you is warmer
Than it should be.
Lauren Hyunseo Cho is a social activist and poet who dreams of inclusivity for all marginalized communities and intersectional minorities.