by Grace Marie Liu
Grace Marie Liu is a Chinese American poet from Michigan. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kissing Dynamite, Vagabond City Lit, The Minnesota Review, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter at @graceewrites, where she tweets about almond butter and occasionally her writing.
This winter, I am a banana-bellied skeleton
with bones as brittle as a boy. The snow angels I’ve built–
lactic bodies curdling in the hollow season.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be whole. I’d rather become
a conception: small-boned, soft, summerish
girl draped in polyester namesake, one size too small. Listen,
the light bends a certain way and I’m back
to daily doses of grease dripping off each pickled knuckle,
hunger outlining my skin like a birthmark. It’s over
dinner my mother tells me to cut dairy, her lips
thinning into wilted bouquet stems. I knew
she liked the idea–her daughter turning rawboned,
birdlike. Am I hopeless for wanting to become everything
and nothing all at once. The doctor says You are living
to die which is to say that anorexia is a hollow
bullet & I am the gun & this feast has all been
imaginary. Can’t you see I was my mother’s
greedy American girl? Tell me she would be proud.
Tell me she would take in a daughter
who isn’t her. On second thought, give me an ugly truth
in an arrowhead fist. If nothing else, how I dug up
so much death just for this drought to bury us.