when she was still

An illustrative photograph, where someone is holding their phone with one hand, and covering their face with the other. The room they're in is tinted blue, but the light from the phone is orange.

out of her mind, she withdrew
from those quickening rooms – a thought,
not quite dark, nor pure – quicksilver,
overwrought: look how it glistens
on the cusp of her tongue, pale
with stale screams, with cold

friends, from whose minds
she’s gone, those quickening rooms
catch up with her, let’s catch up
later, tonight, next year, snap
out of it, coffee, no, what was it
– some thought (catch me) I missed

your mind, in all the ways
thoughts escape me, you quickening
to spectrum us completely don’t you
see, she’s withdrawing, fix it, face
it – her face is drawn to resemble
a thought, scribbled over

and out of our minds, don’t mind
me/he/she/they will not mind, practice
mindfulness, apps and doodles and do you
mind? mind! we never said she’s lost
the plot, we never thought they’d really
mind… but she was mine, in a room

of our own; to my mind the fall
shall always be us falling in
– falling – you know, falling
in step, laughing in bursts of gold
and red and not, you know, falling
like that, so sudden and apart

we missed you.

By Yii-Jen Deng