The Unholy Hull of a Girl Untaken

When you learned your mother was but a child,
the night was still a salve for secrets. A secret:

the sun can drown in sweetness. There was
kindness in the blade as she split yams into

soft sugar and you, sky-bound and beaming, bit
in to find the elements: tendons dreaming about

dissemblance, marrow made to shatter over the lip,
the sour of April in a body unslept. A secret: years

can limp silent in the spine and no one will force
you to notice. You keep your mother innocent in

your arms, leave the ravens a nursery rhythm to
lull in her ears. You mar the damages deep within

your throat. You cook yams the way she did, your
blood the stew instead of hers. A secret: April is

unbearable without color. You tip lamplight green
and leave buckets unemptied with blood. You know

the ravens won’t last forever, that the oldest things
are the most naive. But a window blued is a window

dead and a body aged is a body found. April clips
the trees to a gentler pink, breathes his heavy breath

over the purpling trunks, leaves you forgotten and
forgiven, your mother a mouthpiece finally pacified.

Cindy Xin is a junior in Albany High School in California who enjoys writing poetry, listening to music, and staring at the sky. Her work is forthcoming in Earth Island Journal, Half Mystic, After the Pause, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere.

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