sharp white medical routine

and the form asks what lore I hold:

no bloodborne backstory? no marrow-deep wisdom?


(press ‘down’ to know the secrets of the world)


screens in parallel boyfriend says I’ll

like this game so we venture

down the fallen kingdom lush with story.


take the vessel, fill it with hope, seal it away from the world


seals three like the trinity,

the father, the mother, and the missing son

(the son she is not)


(the sons they’d all prefer)

trinity again, the father and son

she is not,


and the holy spirit of the mother:

wholly imagined and blameless, mythical

mother of half the sky.


my girl, fill yourself, drink up the life you will have far from here


in america’s stew, fast cars and violins

and violence and shopping malls and

blue skies and plastic sugar burning sweet


the form asks family history

of take your pick but you have to write









and tell the receptionist the lore’s long lost

somewhere far underground in the kingdom.


little ghost, where did you come from?


(press ‘d’ to dream, to ascend, to go home)


little vessel, did you know there are thousands like you?

discarded and empty their skulls in a pile, shrine

to a hubris that sees every girl as just like the next and the next


one child only, lonely, for your king and country

(party and chairman) the castoffs for foreign

long-fingered ghosts to pluck from the heap


(press x to lash out)


for players to gather ‘til even the seeker of relics who buys

the bounty groans and didn’t he just

see another baby girl? he doesn’t want them any more.


wouldn’t it be funny if we all rose up at once?

floated as shades back to the source untethered brigade

root-severed army little ghosts around the world.


at a bus stop an npc full of fear warns

careful, traveler, not many return:

can you ever, truly, go home again?


         my girl, dream on


vessel after vessel, sent out of the abyss

can you ever go back to the source?

can our creators be forgiven?


(press ‘z’ to jump)

(press ‘s’ to fly)



Marina Cooper is a poet and fiction writer from northern Virginia. Her writing is often inspired by her experiences as a Chinese-American adoptee, as well as her love of mythology, folklore, and the occasional video game. She can be found on Instagram @marinamcooper


Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

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