how to hold the balancing knife By H. Yenna Kim

how to hold the balancing knife

mother witnesses two boys kissing and looks away.
mother knows all daughters are born
for the moment of their burning,
so she lights a match on my cigarette teeth.
mother says she lets me walk home alone at midnight
because no boy would ever want to touch me,
laughs when i tell her
i wouldn’t want to be touched by any boy anyway.
mother says, don’t be so sensitive, you know i don’t mean it.
mother watches me hemorrhage my scars into hurting.
mother says she wants me to be honest,
so i tell her about the girl i love and her marlboros
and how our wounds choked bloodlessly
the first time i kissed her.
mother, quiet, bites down on the hive
of her tongue, a thousand wasps breaking
free to nest in my shinbones.
mother says she rather i hadn’t said anything.

By H. Yenna Kim


H. Yenna Kim is 17 and soon to be a college student. They currently live and write in New York.

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