By Shiyang Su
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 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.