by Ziyi Yan
Ziyi Yan (闫梓祎) is a young Chinese writer living in Connecticut. She is an alumnus of the Iowa Young Writers' Studio and the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards on a national level. She is published or forthcoming in Kissing Dynamite, Polyphony Lit, elementia, Breakbread Literacy Project, eunoia, Daphne Review, Paper Crane Journal, and others. She is a poetry finalist for the BreakBread Literacy Project and the winner of the Piedmont Institution Communications Contest. She is also the editor in chief of The Dawn Review.
love on tour
i dangle through screams—a freshly pierced ear—
boa flailed to a lifeline. rip me proof
for life: flesh stamped to cymbals in money—
hued flares—tongues dangling—rapt for nothing but
salivation. swallow yourself to wake—
tongue blurred to mouth. rupture god from echoed
wombs—plead happy birthday for a mass. i
turn sixteen in a girl’s fingers—seconds
of her face—womb-like. you swaddle in some—
body’s pride flag—i squirm for your hand—what
to wish for: you leave a woman older
than you. a girl sleeps on my wounds—kisses
my teeth—says nothing. i close on a man
i don’t know—you are my only mother.
the moon can’t right itself.
more glass will
peel away its light, which
isn’t as stolen
as i think. dandelion,
how to tug you
to stars or dandruff:
i only wait
for dark. i tear
for my sister. i weave
a crown mostly
of trodden grass
or reach at itself.
mom’s orchids can
handle ice, not water.
you can’t find any
retort to breakage:
it’s not created,
all these bodies
i can’t stop.
all we can plant.
ring graves. knock
wood. mean not
what you say: