Reparations By Sophia Zhao


It’s springtime, and I witness grandfather
peeled open in hyacinthia-tinted croaks:
hollow socket, false hand, he clenches a
lioness’s brittle ball between the stiff
bite of his teeth— now bound by some
edifice built top down in cacophony.
The bedroom slopes into pallid
unguarantee, what spit looks like
when parched up by the garden’s birdbath,
clean only to the swells of his throat;
he says life tastes of an unattainable
nectar, and I think of honeybees drowning
under their own ambrosia, resortless.
I choose to believe grandfather’s limbs
are of a deity’s spruce-lined mantle,
his shoulders held by weightless thread,
even when he coughs up stained spineless.
I choose to gather the blanket on bedstead,
scrunch it into plastic flimsy lotus flower:
a proofless talisman laid resting near the pyre.

By Sophia Zhao


Sophia Zhao is an eighteen-year-old from Newark, Delaware currently studying at Yale University. Her work currently navigates themes of cultural identity and grief. She enjoys painting, poetry, and jasmine tea.

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