By Shiyang Su

Winter Fever

I pour down the curtain when I feel
the cloudburst is coming, the sallow gray sky, 
sheet-like clouds, giant shades on my toes. 
I’d turn on my air conditioner
and bubble my humidifier and crawl into my bed and
sleep from two to seven. 
I’d lose track of time when I wake I snuggle 
in my red blanket, feeling its edge rub against 
my nose like cat’s paws. 
When my mother comes, I would say 
I don’t remember 
Yesterday or the day before yesterday. 
I am no longer holding 
that stone in my throat or on my back 
I breathe. I fall in love 
with my soft sheet smooth blanket silent room 
currents and sweet air. I only speak 
in the language of “s”; 
soft silent smooth sooth slow sweet and more 
I save a list of them just for this moment. 
Everything else slips away.
I bent my back like a cat, scratching the velvet sheet 
and write and read
a love poem. 
I never do that when I am lucid or 
on a sunny day. 
I never bent because it hurts my back. 
But now, it arched so perfectly 
on the bed spring, almost like sex, 
but better than that---with my own breath, 
soaring up and down, 
up and down
in a room of winter and warm. 

Being Young 

Being young is a good thing, they tell you 
all the time, because it means you are healthy, 
sturdy, tough, and invincible, driving mid-night car
without drinking a bottle of coffee, easily find
cloister in the warmth of a stranger. 
Being young is a good thing, they tattoo this 
on your left cheek like a honey kiss. 
But you know the slit (silts strewing from this scar)
Every night, it aches with the rhythm of your breath.
you have short breath when you are young, 
like whistling, your nipples flap with the stretch
of the body, vibrantly bumping in a symbol of living. 
You know your life from this painful growth. 
You count new scars on your back while bathing
under a cloudburst, and hold rains with shivering lips, 
let them slither through your throat. Slippery, 
they never dwell long in your growing bones. 
That’s when you know youth never lasts
longer than a drop of water. Each day you get
another bruise from this life. (They call it youth!)
Each day, you abandon parts of your skin to avoid
burning in a plastic box. Each day, each day,
you are still young 
and old enough. 

Shiyang Su is an international student who is currently studying creative writing. She is a firm believer in “Show don’t Tell”. Her favorite poet is Sharon Olds. Her poems have been published on Autumn Sky Daily, Neologism Poetry Journal, YAWP journal, Trouvaille Review, and others. Her poem is forthcoming on Eunoia Review.

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