seven and serpentine

by | July 4, 2021

                                             i’d recline

on the green couch, on peeling patches of fabric

held by white string. 

                                            you’d feed me

cubes of orange cantaloupe

but always, my lips zipped shut, teeth clenched,

                                           eyes glued to Dora on the screen.

you’d tell me tales of

                                           naughty girls 

                                           who refused to sit straight 

                                           and eat right; 


           they’d morph into long and oily

slippery snakes.



i longed to be greasy-smooth

like the gelid jade which dangled 

heavy over my mother’s chest,

              in hushed tones, chanting

                            elusive protection, spells rising,

                                         eddying incense in heady swirls,


before soundlessly slipping away

                                                                       into the humid night.

Words by Yasmin Nguyen. Art by Oliver Roberts