Big Scream is out.


I sank into a florescent
pink-green margarita. A stubborn,

modern artist scribbled the colors
into my mouth, throat, stomach… Prickly

grains of salt
on the rim and a crescent-green

lime abused
my lips and tongue.

I drain half a gallon of colors into
a toilet. While a stranger rubbed my back, I saw

Dove soap, my mother’s smell.
She was in a lemon nightgown when I left.

She held me, radiating
a heavenly aura of motherhood

like saints in religious art carry
a halo of holy light.

A scab remained
on the harsh outline of my drunken face.

I picked and flicked it away with my long nails.
I wished I could be the scab.


My grandmother wears a faded
green apron and always eats

pickled Japanese radishes

grains of rice

or oranges

but she is losing weight
for the paulownia casket

no ash for her bones

she writes sales slips; no letters
with her worm-like hand

her parchment fingers

she gave me a lump of sugar

no expiration date for sugar
it conceals my tongue

and tastes bitter

like falling ash
from a cremation

sunlight bakes the blue blinds
a sugar jar in a Chinese cabinet

she still writes the slips, worries about money

in the smallest kitchen
the smallest island

where I was born