editor’s Choice award


You should only ever buy an SUV so you’ll likely be in the car that fares slightly better in a crash, Lao Gong says like he knows we’re going to crash into a sedan or more accurately I’m going to crash into a sedan or a building or a bridge, blown up with air bags puffed like deep fried prawn chips drenched in gasoline and trailing smoke so dense you can’t even find my remains in the ash—not a limb or a strand of hair to dress in xiao lian and send off to the afterlife like a goddess wrapped in white, a cocoon tightly layered so not a single prayer can penetrate, a bundle from which spills death instead of a butterfly—though they fly so slowly you can snatch them with two fingers if you’re careful and possess the hand-eye coordination like I do on the road, enough to forego the knobs and whistles of blind spot detection and driver assist because this isn’t China, everyone yields to the pedestrians like they’re kings and what king bows to a monster whose mouth stretches wide as a grille, toothy and greedy to suck up the sea.

Lucy Zhang writes, codes, and watches anime. Her work has appeared in CRAFT, The Spectacle, Redivider, and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbooks HOLLOWED (Thirty West Publishing) and ABSORPTION (Harbor Review). Find her at or on Twitter @Dango_Ramen.

Image Credit: “Flor” by Carlos Lorenzana