Blood doesn’t drip,
It runs
Like a river of fugitives.

A blanket is music notes,
Warmed and feathered
Until an eight-year old cheek
Can sing its softness
My cheek
As my mother’s lips poured a story
The story of my great-grandmother
In the Cultural Revolution
The officials had raided the house
But it wasn’t enough
So they took needles of sleek bamboo
And pricked her fingers
One by one
It was a common use of torture in those days
They found the secret stash of opium and jewels

My mother’s lips had become soundless
But I could see the words roll on the blanket

I squeezed my eyes closed
Lashes embedded in skin
And tried to imagine what it
Would feel like, having my fingers pricked
One by one
All I can see are the splinters on the needles
Then flesh sagging under grief
A fear that crawls and scratches
From the heart
Peeking through the ribs
It spreads like a virus
Higher, colder
I want to swallow it before it shows its face

Skin rips.

Blood doesn’t drip
It runs
Like a river of fugitives
In a slow trickle down my arms
It makes roads, streets, and avenues
Each running to a different place
The patterns look so bright
Red lantern of marriage
Binding of a book
Wide mouth of a clown
They all laugh at me
Sleek bamboo eyes
Laugh at me
Laugh at my red fingers
Laugh at my soundless lips
Laugh at the people who will never
Touch my hands again

Except, maybe
My great-granddaughter


Slash across the skin. Black.
As an accidental murder of ink;
Dropped pen stabbing into sand
The playground after rain,
Where the only thing that could move
Stiff, wet air is the sound of a swing,
Its chains dipped in rust
Screams drip down and through metallic prison circles
Screams of Peace being raped
Slash, slash, slash the skin.

I swing higher to dizziness,
past rushing pictures of spray-painted green
Because I do not want to see.

This moment.
A room filled with the thick breathing of anger I can
Feel crawling up my leg 5000 miles away
I smell the impatient smoke
Circling above these men’s heads
The oil they sweat, the blood they use for sautéed fish in
“Terrorist bombing at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon today.”

I lose my glasses into the gray mass above
Because I do not want to see.

This second.
Small brown eyes so easily punctured with a knife
Cotton-candy flesh so perfectly carved into pieces
To drench a navy-and-white uniform
Waterfall, black pigtails devoured by the thick
Eyebrows of a brain swimming in storms.
“In Japan, eight elementary students slain by mentally unbalanced man.”

I hang my head back to let my hair suffocate in the sand
Because I do not want to see.

This breath.
Last of many last ones shakes, singing in front of a fan
A paper cut infected into scabs of hate sawed at songs of
Mother and son, father and son, sister and brother?
Mouths gaped open spit, glaze the streets of disbelief,
Paint fists with red frustration, protest the death of gods.
“Nepal’s royal family was massacred by Crown Prince Dipendra, who then
committed suicide.”

I watch tears blur inky words down the newspaper.
Frozen faces turned gray at the point
where two walls and a ceiling meet.
Because I do not want to see.

Tears washed over the punctured corpse of Peace.
It lies in the corner.
Insect remains on windowsills.
Hemorrhage. Truth. Beauty. Love. Freedom. Bleed.
Human eyes see, human throats swallow silence by the spoonful.
Swinging, I swallow wind and try to think in the middle of spray-painted


Your fingers plucked hairy screams out of the window
Running along the wooden frame of a picture
Where sun melted skin with a smile

Black was air and air was black.

Glass dripping, crying to the places that blood could not reach
Every particle of contradiction, strength,
Courage under your hair follicles are
Pillars that hold the roof up over
My well-waxed baldness.

You jumped over lines of black
Barely touching the ink with your toes
Hurdled across the pages until
A fiber snapped and ripped.

Melted dreams that made a puddle at my feet were
Gathered into a bowl and painted on the roof
The blue of a sky that birds would give their wings for
The glass of a million ethereal words
Like the final notes of Moonlight Sonata…


Time is planted in
Centuries of dreamy storm
Arrested by deadly wisdom
Traversing among God’s birches

by Yun Wei (c) 2002
([email]blueprimrose [at] hotmail [dot] com[/email])

[b]Author’s Notes:[/b] Yun Wei is currently a high school senior in Illinois. Having lived in China and Canada, she is fluent in both Chinese and French. Her love for languages has also led her to pursue Spanish in school. Writing has been her passion since words were known to her. Yun is an editor on the school newspaper as well as a member of the Speech Team, experiences that have helped her greatly in the art of writing. Her awards include the 1999 Ray Bradbury Short Story Contest and the Harper College Poetry Contest. She has also won two local Poetry Slams.

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