hunger

A big hat just built a train thicker than my hearing, cutting across
pipes & bronze & green.
In my dream, she punches a hole in the sky, spits gasoline at the sun.
The train hurtles on, faster than light, sound, you, me.

My belly is big, warm, can hold a thousand suns, a thousand trains
but I’m not hungry, I’m never hungry.
I watch Mr. Man sit with his half-lid eyes,
orange juice dripping from fat, green lips.
The train rattles on behind us, thundering, silent.
My terminal audience whispers that
it sounds like the end of the world.

My father kneels on the ground before him, their
hands tied up with teeth. God, or something, must have
lost a bet, lost a people. I wonder where their tears come
from. I can bite a rope open but it takes an army to screw
back someone’s mouth.

Disillusionment, they shout, it’s the word of the hour!
But sometimes my friends can’t keep vomiting blood
& cash.

My ancestors choke me with my unlearned lessons,
tell me to stop praying for mortality. I return
that forever is a moment,
finite,
of power & peace.

M. N. Lee is a student at the University of Southern California. Though she studies in LA, she’s originally from Memphis, which she will always tout as the greatest city in the world.

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