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Haven’t you heard? When your mother
lunges at you with a bread knife
it is only because she has
swallowed a hurricane for you,
her hair still swollen with salt &
tadpoles. And when you come home to
find your light bulbs replaced with moons,
know that it is just the Chinese
way of saying please. In the books
you are sky-colored & dressed in
doghide, smoke cloud bloomed by bullets.
If I could write, every do
or frame
we walked through would be shaped like
a girl. Your tongue catching bodies
the way we learn to hold chopsticks:
one pepper seed at a time. Don’t
you know? The best place to bleed
out is in the snow. The man that
watches you sleep is just a boy
afraid of letting go. & if
you find yourself full of holes, the
way they beat fish at the markets,
think of the hands, damp & cherried
with rain, that once tore your mother
out of the house
she learned to dance in.

Helli Fang is an undergraduate student at Bard College. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Salt Hill Journal, The Adroit Journal, DIALOGIST, Blueshift Journal, Alexandria Quarterly, Wildness, and more, and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Columbia College of Chicago, and Bennington College. She has also participated in programs such as the Iowa Young Writer’s Workshop, The Adroit Mentorship Program, and The Speakeasy Project. When Helli is not writing, she enjoys playing the violin and climbing trees.

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