Mother Says

I wake to acrid vinegar
kissed by a tinge of white sugar.
the putrid sky reeks of clouds
contaminated by ephemeral dreaming.
Mother says this is an omen.
next day, my breasts swell like honeydew,
hips becoming sunken valleys and canyons.
Mother says don’t cycle too quick.
I leash time into a collar like a dog,
arch my back like a question mark.
Mother says stop slouching.
red drops of convoluted memories
spill out of my pores;
I don’t know how to stop it.
Mother says I’m making a mess.
I stuff sugar to clot orifice, but
now my body is licorice-thick, so
I whip myself into a fraying rope.
Mother says that’s not enough.
my skin, paper-thin, corrugates
like a simian frown;
my hair now a wispy gray.
Mother is no longer here to say anything.

Katherine Wei is a Chinese-American writer who is a junior attending BASIS Chandler in Arizona. Her poems have been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the National Poetry Quarterly. Her work is published in The Rising Phoenix Review, Page & Spine, Life in 10 Minutes, and more. She typically writes about culture, nature, and memories from her childhood. During her free time, Katherine likes to skateboard, play volleyball with her friends, and paint acrylic portraits.

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