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a place for your dwelling forever

By Lucy Tian '22

in the humidity of water gurgling from green aquatic tank to tank to aquatic tank and the constant bubbling of fluid being filtered through micropellets and conduction monitors probing violet blue UV lights

my mind spins through conversations

I’ve had once maybe twice maybe not ever

with each breath my diaphragm spasms red gasping from smarting wounds

grasping for words building a fortress for the future

on quiet mornings when I can’t seem to find to feel toremember

the silversharp remarks are deafening echoes in my brain the body re mem bers

they tumble through me blindingly bright in my dreams

I watch them spiral and twirl

get twisted

make sure it is on tight listen for the squeaking of the cap because artemia shrimp larvae only last in the refrigerator if the cap is on right and the shrimp will swim towards any brightness so make sure the lamp isn’t too close we don’t want any burning so slide the lamp over to where they can feel the light but not to the point of

my hands grab desperately to bring them closer

away from the black abyss beneath me bring the light closer

when anxiety spasms down through my shoes

breathing in and out and in and out and in and out and in

There’s a precise moment I realize

In the choking smoke of burnt offering offered after offering after offering and the clanging of cymbals above cherubim (1) bent over the tabernacle their wings touching the ground clouded by smoke

The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick darkness (2)


1 Winged angelic figures fashioned out of precious metal. Placed over the tabernacle, their wings were long enough to cover the entire wooden box and the poles used to carry it. (1 Kings 8:5-9, NASB)

2 Spoken by King Solomon, in his prayer of dedication of the temple in Jerusalem. During the celebration, he sacrificed countless burnt offerings to the Lord, clouding the sky with ashes and smoke. Then the presence of the Lord descended like a cloud on the temple. The Lord was pleased with His dwelling place among His children. (1 Kings 8:12)


This piece is part of a series asking, “Who is God? And what is He like?”

This Fall, we invite you to tell us how you understand the character, nature, and identity of God through poetry, reflections, art, or more!

Illustration by Claire Lin'23


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