Koala biscuits, winter pear; tonight

mother wants our bellies full, the split

ends on your bob slicked in anchor whipped

delight, pandan roll sugared like your dimples—

 

face lined in powdered sweet, because these danjuan

weren’t brought for somebody else; wrapped,

wafer-bodies lined up and spread in the way,

pleat & tucked or soft, that you wish she was—

 

I imagine another Zhengzhou, somewhere west,

sweeter honeysuckle and the sun making her sweat

impress a pattern into the smog, backlit by coca-cola

plants. From her window, the day is curtained,

 

washed by hand in soap flakes melting like

laoganma spice in our mouths; her cracked fingers

working to the finish, lips tensed white, fleshy

rim left colourless with use—no, this is

 

a dream—a single mother is hiding her

daughter’s bra; conceals a small death behind

piles of dolly bobbles. She slips a hand dipped

in lotion across her thigh, scrapes off the hairs—

 

In the morning there will be changfeng,

steamed pale, a soft inside of a clam studded with

chopsticks, and teeth will sink in folds woven

bare; I can hear your stomach figuring out

 

the maths of slivered gluten, your black hair

thrown against the slashed window frames, and soy

dripped on wet eyes & long lips, silently parted by

the food on plates in our small, strangled palms.

annie fan

XI

 

Annie Fan attends Rugby High School in Warwickshire, England, where she tries to synthesise and integrate. A Foyle Young Poet in 2015, her work is either stuck to the fridge or her hair or published in The Blueshift Journal, Eunoia Review and CASTILLO, among others. She is a prose editor at TRACK||FOUR.