when I walked out of the plane I did
not know what I left in the bins:
skin cells gut bacteria tongue tips
and consonants for broken birds to nurse.
there is no return because the world
changes color while you linger
elsewhere, molts light remembered
noise lick of flames, sweet as
fermented beans tasting different
from the same jar. everything is
different. half of me too. melted and
recast in a background role, brittle
and hollow, disappointment of chocolate
rabbits reheated cheese dough. I
don’t know why the eggs don’t steam
well here, mother said. the proteins
unspool wrongly when they look in
the mirror world. I dream. the gargantuan
moon shatters into curds soundless,
yellow unlike my vague skin stuck in
my teeth and folds golden money
boats to float to the hereafter.
Hal Y. Zhang is a writer of code and tales on the east coast of the United States. Her words are at halyzhang.com.