Postcards from Nüwa

— Lily Zhou


It was easier when it was brighter outside, no metal to wash out of blood. My skin, ribbed & diced. The lives that I coppered from bone, bone from dust. Meanwhile, rows & rows of unpicked corn. Meanwhile, the patio where I saved a child from drowning. The story where I become more than girl. Anyway, who could say anything about glory? So maybe there is something more to summer than just dust & creation. Something with my name at its lips, something with husks & sharp teeth & perfect pitch. I still remember all my children. Each day I reorder the animals by size & shape. Each day the same story with the empty hands & the silhouette by the lake. It is dark out. It is dark out & I want the version of the myth where I have warm clothes & a place to sleep by the fire. I deserve all the love I can get. All the songs, too.


Sure.       I too grow tired           of motherhood. In China teeth           under the mountain. Birds              & film reels with my face.               The whales have taught me               the secret to flight. Nighttime & all the things           I was supposed to say, washed out           with the color of your eyes.               Washed out.               I am so tired       of the movie where I lay a tortoise to rest       at the altar.             A myth told in technicolor             & good lighting.             The       worst kind of lie.     I am trying to talk           about the redundancy           of bodies. Fame           like cathedrals & staircases.               Fame like so many birds               shot out of the ocean. Every morning the sky               & all of its reasons to move. You         with     all     of     your reasons not to.                   Meanwhile the film flickering                   out of time.           Meanwhile       your eyes.         Everything looks so much closer from home.

Read more from Issue No. 19 or share on Twitter.