Monday evening, the face
of an unsightly girl
looks at anyone but you.

There is someone growing
from your shoulder
whose dreams are why you know her.

A train to China roars
on its tracks, revering the traces
of tigers

who still roam
among the treeless towers
of Beijing, hungering—

A woman
gives birth and there is no father
standing beside her.

The sound
of her daughter’s first cry crackles
with the gramophones

of a funeral and a wedding
waking to life,
and the priest asks for the murmured

“I do”s.
In the pews of London’s abandoned churches
are insects eating God,

and elsewhere,
a prophet looks into her bathroom mirror
and spits out bloodied words

into the sink.
You wipe it up to write
your poetry.

The tigers, tamed as a species,
mourn the deaths
of too many children, but

the factories still bleed out their excess,
coughing sickly,
like infants—heartless and born early—

with weak lungs.

Zuyi Zhao is a high-school senior living in South Florida, where the humidity is often worth complaining about. When she is not working on calculus problems, she can be found looking for inspiration in Greek and Chinese mythology. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastics Art and Writing Awards, and has been published or is upcoming in The Rising Phoenix Review and Firefly.