At dusk, I listen to the clock of my mother’s
knife on the cutting board.
How it strikes
like an evening bell, remote yet tender,
the scene casted in chiaroscuro:
my mother’s dark, sloping arms against
the chalky walls. I study this while pretending
to read a novel where a woman never knows her son
chose a new name. How I think of love: in name only.
What I think of bliss: scallions bobbing like hollow beads,
my mother splaying the roots with metal, the present tense.
Soft breathing beyond the window’s torso.
How our kitchen cramps with light.
Mackenzie Duan is a high schooler from the Bay Area. Their work has been recognized by YoungArts, Princeton University, and The Poetry Society.