Jade Telephones

Victoria Xiao


If that’s that then we can come together and drink paddies from neon lights
sprinkle ephedra in our earlobes and dance around packets of boba
because there is ammonia in my veins and polymethyl in my eyes
and I feel like I can fly in perpetuum

When my mei mei folds her lines are flawless
        rips daisies from steel and tadpoles from plastic bags
and in the white of her eyes she prays
to the lao jia that died a millennium ago

In the summer, we wear out our linen pajamas
and waltz to the sound of cicadas and distant trains
      and think back to the pajamas of our grandparents
          and of our ancestors
               and of our make-pretend friends
and at night I imagine flying towards infinity so fast that I can
surpass the speed of light and
land in a world of mile-high scrapers and digital limbs

Sometimes, when I find myself alive at 2:30 am
braided between the textbooks and the pencils and the scent of wax
       I wish for nothing more than to return
to my womb of artificial lights
and reinforced concrete
and bleached-blond girls with green-tea bikes
and of rabbits crafted from uncooked cigarettes
like the ones my lao lao made only sixteen years ago