Russian Roulette Except Every Chamber Is Full
Plastic shower curtain is morgue sheet
hiding the shame of slow death—methylene blue,
oxygen-starved. Look, here
is sacrum, coxal. Me at age twelve
when my mother overdosed, as if to prophesy
the men, slack-jawed. Women, skinless,
fingers tearing at the neck, at what cannot be
seen. Cloud of locusts, black, tar-thick,
pulsing under epiglottis. Wasps needling
through the ribs, hissing like livewires
in water. Man drowns
himself in tin of paint thinner, ignoring
its sides screaming: “NOT MEANT FOR HUMAN
CONSUMPTION.” Man becomes diaspora.
He becomes tongueless, infantile,
always asking what comes next:
locust; livewire; Narcan; nothing.
Jasmine Cui is 17 years old and is majoring in political science, economics, and violin performance at SUNY Geneseo. She aspires to be like her parents, first-generation Americans who fought an extraordinary battle for their place in this country. She has received national recognition from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her work can be found at The Shallow Ends, Glass: a Journal of Poetry, and at www.jasminecui.com.