the flies - poetry by Jackie Liu
dad got concerned that mom hadn’t
cashed the child support checks
for three months
you should go out more, he says
it’s not healthy, he says
i hate him, she says.
the putrid cloying stench of an apple melting away
forts constructed of empty tupperwares
rising higher with the setting sun
the grating cacophony of one, two, forty-seven houseflies
the soundtrack of degeneration
it’s too much
you choose to look away.
her words are the searing aftertaste
of acid creeping up your throat
nostrils ablaze, eyes awash
you swallow that shit back down.
the buzzing echos across empty halls, empty hearts
into hopes and dreams
menacing black bodies swarming into a torrent of torment
paranoia suffocates each thought breath whisper
they’re fucking everywhere.
i’ll get over it, she says
i’m healing, she says
i don’t need help, she says
why don’t you help me? she says.
you get over yourself and
clean the kitchen until midnight
instead of doing homework
as if pristine countertops guarantee
you are so proud
she says thank you.
but the flies are still buzzing
About Jackie Liu:
“i turn my auto-capitalization off so i don’t have to decide what’s more important.
i cut my grapefruits into lopsided halves on purpose so i have something to look forward to.
even though i’ve all but forgotten the language, i still keep the chinese keyboard on my phone in case i need it one day.
at the grocery store i have trouble deciding between brands of pasta because i bask in the what if.
i take comfort in my own mortality and impermanence. less pressure that way.”