in neijiang, 2013

by Kathy Jiang

yi ma shakes the morning open
out the window, the day’s laundry—
my baby bra and a loose white shirt—
slung on the line, just above

the balcony where yei yei’s peeling
longan, a cigarette between his teeth.
small brown husks fall to the floor, slowly
pile around his feet. each time he breathes
a trail of smoke rises up, snakes through
yi ma’s bedroom window;

on a straw mat inside
i am fast asleep, dreaming.
15 this year, and maybe finally

Kathy Jiang was born in Neijiang, China and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. She is a recent graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the William and Mary Review.