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teenage girl squatting on wooden stool biting mango in old kentucky garage (flash on) undated

—Emma Zhang

teenage girl squatting on wooden stool biting mango in old kentucky garage (flash on) undated

when i ask to have a photoshoot in your

garage eating a mango in the dark,

you swallow the pit like a lost hole in the sky,

teeth dripping flesh & the prompt tang of

having so little years left. the moon angry &

bending in the frame like a birthmark. black

leather boots & velvet jacket, how to see is to

know so briefly, the extent to which light

passes (or doesn’t pass through) reflecting

a half shadow of a jaw still open. i bite

down because i don’t want to hear the click.

it’s always about eruption, the way soil

peels under it, surface still smooth like

summer beach days and radio blues.

a ghost of a neighbor scootering in the dark.

you crank the shutter speed to slow down

time. isn’t it funny how you have to close

one eye to capture: a trade off, seesaw of

relativity perhaps. one moment lost is one

moment gained. one moment made

permanent. eyes blue so dark like friday

nights & dennys fries where it still hurts to

hug me. just get on the stool. shine like you

know best. and your hand is shaking

and i know better than to smile but god is the eye

of something you’ll never love so hollow

when it clicks you know it’ll be seconds

before it’s cold again. before you crawl out

of my garage half formed dripping mango

pulp half asleep half drunk alive on the

carpet like summer is still summer for you

too. like i am just an obliteration of you.


EMMA ZHANG lives and writes in San Jose, California. Her work has been recognized by The Adroit Prizes and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers as a National Best in Grade Winner, and appears  in Peach Mag, Kissing Dynamite, Evocations Review, among others. She serves as the EIC of Aster Lit, Vice Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County, and co-founder of Love Letters to San Jose. She's never quite mastered the yo-yo.

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