water droplets on glass panel

Hello, this is a sonnet

Penelope Ioannou
about fog; tiny liquid droplets hanging in the air, the same air which hangs your thought like
a crystal where you left it but it’s also about an invention I’ve been thinking about lately, an
inverted furnace of sorts, so that heat and fear goes in and a cool draft of whatever the
opposite is comes out. Before technology inherited fireworks, a crystal, red from the floors of
caves, was used to give explosions their whiteness. There is no better way to describe
forgiveness other than like this. Only when you ask it to combust will it appear in the
blackness of a meadow, carbon after carbon in a disco. But it’s the asking that’s terrifying and
as I write you this sonnet I am missing you more than I have ever been able to miss
something before and those men out there pressing spikes into the network of ice, they own
me, they’re not climbing away from the brain they’re climbing towards it. I hang a thought
for you on a droplet in the air like a jewel hooked through an ear. A fly trap made of blown
glass dangles from the ceiling and I think of the craftsman who built an iridescent tomb.
Nothing burns once out of its cave and in the sky heading for the ground, the fly in its glass
cave, the disco of droplets, this invention which is the sonnet which is asking you for forgiveness.

Penelope Ioannou is a poet and writer and recent Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Review of Books. She studied in New York City and just completed her master’s from Oxford University and is (obsessively) wondering what comes next. She writes book reviews, articles, and fiction and poems; she recently began creating short films and presented her first called ‘Translation Swims Like Algae In A Winter Pool’ (2023) at the Comparative Literature and Critical Translation discussion panel at Oxford University, a film which focused on the visual games and peculiarities of following the translation of a single poem.