Undoings

Grace Q. Song

Great Neck, NY

Great Neck South High School

Poetry

I.

i am a good girl      no

i don’t like to lie

         but i do &

before i cut out my tongue i say

to my mother

i don’t want to see my family

she drags me outside

the kitchen spills out food

a man i don’t know sneaks

past the door to sit at the table &

i find you as if

         you’ve never left

 

i like easy girls

you say

the one beside you—my sister—

         laughs

but inside  i twist   fray

i like quiet girls

you continue

girls who don’t run away

who like to have a little     fun

you know what i’m talking about

                                         right?

 

she wants to know what you like

i am the only one who knows the answer

lying in the black folds

       of your tongue

i like the sound of when

teeth snap a crisp apple slice

          in half

your gaze flits towards me

a shadow stirs in the back of

your eyes

i can’t look away

you grin        call out my name

come

           sit with us

no one knows how

i’m so scared of you

 

 

II.

last family reunion

everyone slept under one roof

            night froze

love was supposed to keep

me warm

 

but the stairs creaked in the hallway

blood pricked & bound dried

slippers whimpered across

wooden boards

cousin brother uncle hardened as

footsteps pressed closer—

                                   closer—

 

instinct was to run but

there was nowhere to run

pull arms closer   pull bare legs to chest

tighten quilt to throat    goosebumps

imprinted all over body

door knob turned

betrayed blood against blood    love

was weak it could never protect

shadow fell against the floor    only

movement as quiet as

departing souls but death would be more

merciful than this

 

pants brushed against edge of bed

hand reached underneath covers

coldroughhungryforeign

love fails it turns against itself it hurts it hurts it hurts

squeeze eyes shut asleep asleep sleep

—shhhhhhhhhhhhhh—

keep mouth closed bury moan in throat

don’t scream don’t scream—do not scream

EDITORIAL PRAISE

At first glance there’s an apparent lack of description, but the author is a master at picking out the precise, subtle details that paint the picture.

Grace Q. Song is a sophomore from Great Neck South High School, New York, and she will be graduating in 2021. When she's not writing poetry or YA novels, you can find her staging photo shoots or playing the flute. She thinks you're awesome.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR