Sophie Zhu

& I know any phrase
with Chinese licks sinew
with gashes, the pus swelling

slight alliteration.

Catcall

Moonlight always has a word
for me. & I know any phrase

with Chinese licks sinew
with gashes, the pus swelling

slight alliteration. So moonshine
pays me some pity, kisses me a bit

less. It watches me undress
idioms with sea salt, Sisyphus

tugging me back to
back with the horizon

of a flattening sun.
Where I could say blood

and snow, and the winter
would remain pink. & the moon:

it lets me practice why
speak a thousand times

in the dark. To be so native
you forget your language, yet

the etymology still stays.
The moon knows translation

ceases to exist, dissolving in gar-
licked salt, but reversal,

after all, is an art. Translation
garbles chance with false pride

in a single coin, one gamble.
I cross the Atlantic, and it’s always

crash test: each strangle of
begging hushed in translation.

If I win this wager, can I be called
by my name again?

BIO
Sophie Zhu is a high school sophomore from New York. An Adroit Journal 2020 summer mentee, she is an editor-in-chief of Dishsoap Quarterly. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Half Mystic Journal and Muzzle Magazine, among others. Outside of writing, she is an avid mathlete and pianist.

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