and beneath their solstice my silver haired nanna kneads bitter memories into bāozi, muttering myths of Icarus. He lived on
drunken seas, bathing in his father’s blood. Her own wings of buckwheat wax beg to melt near heaven, must be ribbon-
tied to doorknobs each sunrise. Nanna claims Rockwell’s America saved me, that my only victim is myself. But instead of gasoline
dripping from jasmine clouds, pooling in liquor fountains where children play, mailmen slip poison to neighbors,
electric hemlock that tickles before it kills. Nanna says packaging makes milk sweeter. She collects coins in milk cartons, believing
copper is American chocolate. I lied when I said stores would refuse her pennies, smeared myself with weedkiller before hugging
her lavender perfume. That night I dumped fourteen jars of honey down the drain, watched it lick copper
pipes while Nanna cried. Beads of nuòmǐ fàn devour the Rockwell paintings on her kitchen walls,
sweet napalm I’d never dare to drink.
I never witnessed a shooting star, so mom gave me her old telescope.
I take her silver honda and leave the city for a midnight
snack and a piece of sky unkissed by light, chasing sugar grains
on a black countertop. Upon arrival unleavened cornfields flaunt
their promiscuity, gold cocktail dresses, sweating dust on my lens.
Blackboard chalk traces lovers' lips, tacit streaks that never
powder, kisses that will never tarnish. Whiteness crumbles and falls
beside me, leaving the sky empty. Beside me, the honda sits empty,
the arrow in the fuel gauge points to “E”.
-- Daniel Zhang is an Asian-American poet from Watchung, New Jersey. His poems have received Gold Medal recognition from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards as well as recognition from the National Council of Teachers of English, and he was a semifinalist for the National Student Poets Program.