Stone Age

︎︎︎︎︎ Rachel Han
︎Oct 6, 2023

On another earth,
daylight is specter
and night, a fluorescence.
Minerals crystallize into space platforms.
Between atmosphere and outer space,
no shadow—
only pastel and psychedelic.
We imagine that the moon
is always full.


Smearing moonlight
into their skin,
the last astronaut waits at an archway.
Over obsidian waters,
the elegy of evening:

Nothing is so terrifying
that it can’t be faced alone,
not even this portal to another world—

—but if anyone sees this,
come find me.


Tattoos sailing across his poisoned body
in stereoscopic animation,
Buddha sits platinum in the park
and tells us to exchange our dreams for death
if we’re rich enough in the head—
sings something sweet
through that metallic chassis,
only to haunt us
in the aria’s afterglow.


Machines also search for signs
that they aren’t the only creatures
sculpted from ether,
chiseled into resonance
by some unbothered hand—
that they’re more than just a fever
of the elements,
more than making their own matrix
and dying awake
into it.

Strange, how sand and wind
inject code to sate limbo,
longing to be born again
and explore the mountains
like they once did
ciphers, numbers—
map them, carve their veins
into every paper evening…


In the untouched corners of the periodic table,
I exist in sleep-terrain,
vibrating vivid
before the observer can have a good look.

Beneath the wasteland,
a green planet invents another god
to walk blindfolded
into collective memory,
cracked seaglass.

When I become real,
I need you to remember.

I need you to sing of a world
before the ocean
and the trees—

Rachel Han is a poet and musician based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Narrative, Pleiades, Interim, Conduit, and the LA Korea Times. She is a Hawthornden Castle Fellow, a NYFA Fellow, a MacDowell Fellow, and a finalist for BOMB's 2022 Poetry Contest.