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奶奶 [nǎinai]

Sabrina Mei

奶奶 [nǎinai]
a poem by Sabrina Mei

i watch my grandmother butcher a silver fish.

it looks like the one in the picture book at school today,





scatter pointed scales across your eyelids, slice



bathe in its yellow veins, i beg you.

find home amongst tears in flesh, hold forked tongue, but pray,


lick the white paint off dirty half

torn streets until red breaks asphalt, remember child,

nián nián yǒu yú:

every year there is fish.

some fish for you,

and some fish for me,

but not enough for everybody at sea.

you can only carry those leaden arms for so long, you may try and try and try

to carry everyone, but you will


when the sun dips the trees in its carnage, she takes the fin from her

mouth and places it in mine, lay down,



Sabrina Mei is a junior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD. Her work has previously been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, John Hopkins University, Montpelier Arts Center, and the Yellow Barn Studio. In her spare time, she enjoys rereading Sherlock Holmes and watching an objectively excessive amount of cooking videos.

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