Mussel

When I first opened my mouth, I had a pink, double-spit tongue,
somersaulting in the slow way otters do when trying to snap
the backbones of sea urchins. Eventually my fingernails grew long.
Eventually, they netted me, cracking the calcium-shell in my stomach
over and over like vertebrae. They tried to corkscrew me open, but I
would only inhabit the places where your voice went soft. I want
to roll in the gutter for you. I watch the day slip down the
sink, water still running. I parachute my sheets, unroot cable
after cable with the oven flickering like pulling spoons from my insides.
There is no running water in the hotel. Sometimes too much water.
What about creation is it doesn’t begin with rebirth, not even for
the crayfish. Not even for me. Sometimes there is a trashcan that tips
over on the cutting board of the night. Sometimes a zucchini under
the knife that sings and sings, before being gagged into my mouth,
a feast.

Alicia Lai

Alicia Lai

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