“Suture Lines” by Sarena Tien

“Warsaw, 1939” by Jean Banas, acrylic on canvas.

This is when the world ends—
not with fire, not with ice,

but with dirt and water
earth tossed back to earth

without a bang or whimper
only tears cleaving the sky

and the rain slip
sliding down our shoulders,

skeletons who never got to say goodbye
left unburied and behind.

This is when the world begins—
not with a supernova, not with a star

but with a smile
stretched and stitched

down the table, forks clinking
above a sketchbook story

that strung us back together
puzzle pieces pilfered from the past,

photographs of the future and
laughter full of love and loss.



Sarena Tien is a queer Chinese-American feminist and Francophile. Her work has appeared in online publications such as Transitions Abroad, The Feminist Wire, Bustle, On She Goes, and Argot. When she’s not trying to become a polyglot, she can often be found fighting for social justice or folding far too many origami stars.