Dec(ember) By Bessie Huang



Don’t cough when the minnows
are scraping through
your lungs.

By now you should know that
the only way to gain
control is by losing
it. Let their gills tickle
your insides. Let them breathe
for you. You hunched over

for so long you don’t remember
how it feels
to not feel alive.


What if the world were on
your shoulders

at your fingertips

and all you want
to do is whisper
out a fire.


The fingers dangling at your neck, ready
to turn blade.

The bones thin underwater. No premeditation:
mildew bathtub and milk, your skin in rinds
on the floor, your hands raw
as a throat—

Now press
them to your face like they are firecrackers
and let them blow hollow
into your cheeks.


You shouldn’t believe the weather
forecast, but here it is
April and still snowing. Just know:
the butterflies outside
are beginning to rot and
what happens when you press
a technicolor popsicle
to your forehead


You shouldn’t believe
everything you feel.

All you have left
are citrus leaves
and this glutinous heart.

By Bessie Huang


Bessie Huang is seventeen years old, hails from Maryland, sits exclusively in lotus pose, and prefers to go by Ivy, at least for now.

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