Survival Guide

— Lily Zhou

M. the foxhunter. M. the knifed ghost. M. the red-tipped arrow settling into the soft stomach of the city. Phase 2: reel in six pelicans by the beak & train them to sing at the sight of arriving ships. Lock the door behind you, M., as the asteroids reach land & the house turns red siren. This is no easy task. M., I miss the lunar cycle we spent with the scarecrow & the thunderstorm’s heavy palms. Next time sunlit alleyways & milk cartons by the front door. Phase 2: when the asteroids arrive build the raft out of beer bottles & newspaper headlines. For years we scavenged for space dust along the shore. Sold the moon & its slow storms for frozen peas we boiled for dinner. Next time. At least I saved M.’s swift tiger pelt. At least three jars of saltwater & M.’s radio & the pocketknife I turned into a viable light source. Smoke rises from the city. The pelicans, silent.

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