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To my baby brother: -- poetry by Avalon Lee

From her unworn graduation gown

Mother sliced butter cubes

to smear on a quilt for you.

With a year’s worth of our market copper

she axed matchstick bars

to raise a manger for you. You,

leech of the umbilical cord

who siphoned her of nutrients and

minerals, gemcut, to

quarry the family genes

of rare lapis rather than

accept Mother’s coal eyes.

Dried wax seals your lids

blinding you

to the sight of Mother

nightgowned in a medley of

lily sleeves and rosebud pleats

asleep in the casket

you in the basket

of my woven limbs.

I lay you down to rest

tucked in our manila

mother’s enveloped arms.


Avalon Felice Lee is an Asian American Californian. Her prose and poetry has been published in Right Hand Pointing, The Incandescent Review, Parallax, Plum Recruit Mag, Kalopsia Literary Journal, Minute Magazine, The Museum of Pop Culture, and elsewhere. Currently, she is listening to evermore and Haydn.

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