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Poetry, Nina Yang

That summer awakes something restless in me

unabating, undulating

waxing, waning, wild

unwilling to be chased from my thoughts

(by bass-thumping poolside parties)

or coaxed out of me

(with my hand beating rhythmic between my legs).

The shape it takes in my mind

is that of a fruit. A pomegranate

shining and unfocused at the edges,

spilling crystalline seeds from a sun-mottled

husk. Seeds like droplets of blood encased in amber.

In my dreams I tear apart its skin (slow)

Split it into quarters (sick)

And bring it to taste on my tongue (sweet)

Bite into it wanton,

bitter rind be damned

and feel those seeds ignite (something takes root)

in my mouth like

fourth of july fireworks:

Like celebration, smoky with sparklers and a hint of fiery body,

laughter and shouting above my head

as I

suck pomegranate juice out of the mouths of strangers

out of curled cigarettes

out of the pool water filling my lungs

as I dive


I catch you staring at me

halfway through the night

And I want to imprint the taste of pomegranates

on your lips so you never, ever

forget me

not even when I leave this town and everybody in it.

I laugh and fall back into the pool, blurring your face into memory.


You pulled me aside at some point, when the sky began to lighten as dawn washed over the dark. You held me to you, taking my face in your hands. In my mind I saw electric fires, birds turning into lions and then back again to birds, a pomegranate tree as the universe housing the planets in its branches.

“It’s starving you,” you said gently, brushing a strand of hair behind my ear. I shuddered at your closeness. I wanted to tell you how full I felt. I knew every secret of the universe! I knew the energy of every living being like it was my own. The pomegranate juice was lifeblood. I wanted to rip you apart and count your seeds in my palm. My head fell against your shoulder and you stroked my hair. I couldn’t take it. I tore into you with my teeth.


Nina Yang (she/her) is a dreamer and a Chuck E Cheese employee. Her favorite subjects to write about are feral girls and plants that could (want to) eat you.


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