it’s about love (don’t overthink it)


it’s about the way we make

the way we take

the way I can’t find the divide between the color of your eyes and mine

I can’t pinpoint the time when I knew how I loved you or why


about the way I want to leave and wrap myself in the freeze

let the cold hold me, stilled

but then the thaw, and I’m reaching for you again

I could never resist soaking in the sun


it’s about the way I run across the campus at 11:43pm

slip on the ice, gravel tears my hand

in order to reach you, protect you from yourself

but I can’t protect you, so I just hold this moment


about hot tears that streak across my face

your cold palm on my cheek

or your shaking form, chaotic heart against my chest

my strong, trembling hands on your back


it’s about the selfish spine of love

longing to fill the hollow corners of your self with another person

fanaticize them wings

exclusively to fly to you


about wiping the steam off the mirror

and craving another pair of eyes on you

whispered adulation,

a genuflection of affection


it’s about the way I pose for paintings now

bared, but without embarrassment

I want them to mix my image on their palate

bring me to life while I meet their eyes


about summer playing in the background

afternoon falling across my bed

as I lie, steeping in the loveliness,

bursting with regard for the day

Ella Xiao.jpg

Ella Xiao

“In a lot of academic spaces, we are encouraged to be objective. But through my writing, I’ve been able to grasp how powerful personal narratives can be.” Ella Xiao is a freshman from Seattle, Washington. Inspired by politics, sexuality, and, lately, her ancestry and identity, Ella has spent much of her life writing as a means of self-care. “It helps me turn confusing feelings into something tangible, or even beautiful.” Despite the content explored in Xiao’s work, she maintains that she has never written a romantic love poem. “Pain is what inspires me to write.” Achingly relatable and delivered with vivid skill, this piece is a meditation on the less idyllic face of love.