Nose-dive

Potluck halfway to fruition when
            my mother makes fire from her fingers.

Last words on an opening sentence
            spill from her tongue, remember

you are three characters harnessed from iron,
            remember, your skin sharpened

from the knives of the waves,
            remember – why they

don’t return next door. She writes in
            slant, the lanterns across the lawn

when they ask you where your
            family is from, tell them—

From the belly of revolution, from the
            blood of my grandfather when he

cut open his toes to bring my father home.
            When they ask you where you’re from

say not your home, not your lampshade,
            from the accolade of my tongue

I burn, when they ask who I turned for,
            a conundrum from the skin of a martyr

American skin, words as though I learned anew
            American lips that choke me,

declare surrender. Light from the mauve,
            wander aimless in a land your own,

grain bursting into pearls on her sister’s neck,
            two cities burning across my hands,

only to say, renounce her. Renounce the soil
            from which you reap.

On foreign soil, from which your name
            was fastened from the hands of

your people. Remember, she treads,
            you are no liar.

Mimi Yang is a student, artist, and poet based in Shanghai. She spends her spare time chasing cryptids and investigating pseudo-sciences. She is on the constant search for more time, if anything else.

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