I TELL THE STORY OF MY LIFE TO A GLASS BOTTLE AND LEAVE IT ON THE BEACHFRONT

The third law            of thermodynamics          calls erosion
an inevitability.        Comes through brutality             quiet gnashing
of electrons                   gnawing                                        on thick paracord. 
The tongue is          a wave                                  my birth name
a shoreline.                The two                              joined in perpetual conflict.
Stormwaters               move  one step                         forward. I move
two steps                               back.                              Until there is
no space left             to occupy                                    —dissolution.

 

GLUTTON

Listen, he said, I am no Jew, but once I stuffed myself
so full with challah and matzah that I ballooned

into the Hindenburg. Blame Darwin
for self-preservation.

Shame is insular and self contained. Listen,
she said, I am no washing machine, but I eat

detergent because of the seventh grade. See: case study
in wretched. Prepubescent corpse: formless,

fat, hormonal. I was brace-faced,
sexless and wanted to commit arson

in the safety of a laundromat. Lemon fresh,
my rubber stomach is squeaking latex.

Listen, I said, I am no hooker,
but I swallow strangers

whole. Tongue curried in saliva, I am cumin
seeds, split against the slits of their mouths.

Splayed legs, the aftermath
of a railroad spike. Splintering wood, the rest is cataclysm.


JASMINE CUI is seventeen years old and is majoring in Political Science, Economics, and Violin Performance at SUNY Geneseo. She aspires to be like her parents, who are first-generation Americans that fought an extraordinary battle for their place in this country. Her work can be found at The Shallow Ends, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and www.jasminecui.com.