To beautiful me.
The liminal space between sunrise and sunset.
A finite gap and cosmic shift between the day, night, and horizon.
An explosion of strawberry, peach, tangerine, and sweet mango light.
When windows are coated in an opulent glow. It is golden hour.
And I am most beautiful when I am caught in this gold net of finite time.
When beads of sweat swell around my hairline and kiss points of light, for a fraction of seconds, stars form and bounce white hot sparks, then pass away soon after their immaculate conception. At the same time, the sheen of sweat on my chest sparks an electrifying display of these mortal stars; a bright auric nebula glitters between every dimple and hair on my arms. For a moment too quick to hold, newborn suns blink and die by the transience of golden time.
Replacing blood with bright saffron, the richness of my mixed ancestry is luminous in a fire halo crowning my head. Glossy black-brown strands of hair tousle like water over branches in a river, nestling into the pulse points of my neck the way a loved one’s lips would press and hug.
Illuminated by this golden haze, the highest peaks of my scarred face meet the syrupy light first like honey dripping over pancakes with burnt divots. The fading sun beams the color of clementine peels onto lustrous chai skin. With red and brown craters on my cheeks, I am an eclipse. Perfectly asymmetrical, soft and round; full of pancakes and love.
The moles strategically placed on me were less akin to the brightest stars of gilded constellations, but rather notes on sheets of music wrapped over bone; if your eyes met these notes in any sequential order, uncharted melodies sing.
Meanwhile, my eyes are alive with this golden pause in the universe. When my gaze lands on panels of lemony light, it brightens the expanse of mahogany into an aged amber and surrounds my pupils like the rings of Jupiter engulfing a black hole. To see awe, delight, and peace outline the shape of my eyes is as formidable as seeing planets in the evening sky and galaxies cry; so stunning, so beautiful. I am celestial.
Like pale silver comets, stretch marks shoot out from under my arms and curl into my plush contours.
Like the slivers of gold that hug the breaks and cracks of a cherished item, these marks display the triumph of age, of skin expanding to accompany the growing trove of time I treasure with my beloved body.
Like arrows in a warm blue sky, my arms, my legs, my chest, my tummy, are all blessed with silver stretches of golden time.
Rich. Joyous. Beautiful.
I am filled with gold.
Editors: Cathay L., Joyce P., Claudia S., Erika Y.