shield me from fire, wind, and the love of cruel men By Isabelle Jia

shield me from fire, wind, and the love of cruel men

mama cradles a tangle of wisps to her breast.
it goes: uh na, pat, uh na, pat, uh na , pat
in her breath there is serenity for
the fear of losing liveliness.
mama pulls the blinds close.

they sing: hollow, home, hollow, home, hollow
stomachs pound against fat babies who
sold their souls.

mama lays next to an empty man.
he says: sleep, child, sleep, child
let me pluck the petals of your flower
break the stem two times and again.

mama shifts shrouds.
come here: fear, her, fear
the strength grown in
pitless cherry hearts.

mama stays up with the moon.
she croons: keep, them
away from sea glass men
sharpen their bodies to cut back.

mama’s still waiting for the sun.
i say:

By Isabelle Jia


Isabelle Jia is a seventeen-year old poet whose work has appeared, or is forthcoming in the Blueshift Journal, Polyphony HS, Track Four, and many more. Jia has attended the Iowa Young Writer’s Studio and the California State Summer School of Arts. She has also been recognized as a California Arts Scholar, by the Walt Whitman Poetry Foundation, and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She is an editorial intern and social media editor for Tinderbox Poetry as well as a poetry reader for Glass Kite. Jia currently resides in San Francisco Bay Area, CA.

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