Jasmine Cui

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.