Min Lim is an undergraduate from Yale-NUS College and a freelance graphic designer.
She writes at http://minlim.com
I Throw Five Stones Up in the Air
a bird is perched on a rock. its claws
dig flesh into dust, then a future
hourglass. does it matter if the rock
feels pain? if it does, then the rock is
suffering, and the only way out
is through. if not, then will the bird ever be
in the wrong? consider the rock falling
into a river. the river divides into two.
does it matter? you are the river, not
the rock. the bird is flying in the sky.
the gods are dead in the sand. a man uncorks his gourd
and finds his milk as cheese. a villager gouges his soul
into an apricot. in mid-november the eagles migrate
through bonfire; a cat chews on its own eye;
the nile recedes from tribes. like all rivers, it rakes away
the children and their lies. they claw. it peels the moon
and eats it raw. it takes the camel twenty-three hours
to run into the sahara's belly.
and the gods were felled by allies. when they named
my month after a pillage, perhaps they were learning
to be selfish: milk to cheese, cheese to ilk. it took me
twenty-three hours to leave my mother's womb. in mid-
november, my hands become a broom. like all children,
i sweep a fly into my palms, its wings to read my rivers –
they begin where my parents' dry. i lie. i bend
into a quiver. the dead pass through like sand.
Grief Is a Sashimi
salmon is defrosting by the sill,
and the moon is rising for air.
and mary is too busy
watching over the salmon.
the rain dives into hail.
mary it's time to go,
i say. a city by the river
is always colder on the inside:
there is no room
for a womb in our house.
in new york, the snow chokes
the bacteria into prunes.
the people eat it, and only the people
go bad in new york. leave
our child mary,
the kettle is wailing for milk.
outside, the winds run
like an open tap. i snip the gas.
she scoops the salmon
to her breast. i scream, mary,
when we left the dead body in the living room we forgot to account for guests. great aunt harvested the moss before our angpaos: i could count the years in each blackened ridge of her finger. i am told to be polite. we held the steamboat in grandma's bedroom; the yusheng toss we whispered, mindful not to wake her. back in the desert we would've grown our wigs by the gravesite and pretended we were young again. a camel could've bloated for seven months before its body decayed. as always, the vegetables cooked first, curly in the heat. great aunt grasped at a strand of moss with her chopsticks. she laid it on my forehead. here we are, she said. i was always her favourite.
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