nocturne in the fist of the aquarium
the organ gargles in my dream where
all the men are underwater and a mermaid beheads them
one by one.
we are at a wedding and i am
the apoptosis of vanilla, godiva pearls menstruating
into basement salt.
in these mercurial tides the benthos is glass. leaves
with screen door eyes, teeth hard shards
of the unwanted. my lips are chapped red.
the shrimp and my moods cuddle in
the crevasses of my nails. my hands weather white
but only in the brine of my knuckles.
i consider the concept of one. a head
floats past. broad nose spilling into sandstone jaw: bow tie
of so many arteries.
the mermaid swims to me and i try to tell her she is beautiful,
cerulean scars bubbling over her breasts. yes, she tells me, i
with the tender brush of a mother, she shreds the veins
from my neck.
Originally from Seattle, Ana Chen is a freshman at Stanford University. Her writing has been recognized at international and national levels by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, The Adroit Journal, the Claremont Review, Polyphony Literary Magazine, the New York Pitch Conference, and others. In 2019, she founded It’s Real (itsrealmagazine.org), an online magazine seeking to destigmatize mental health issues in Asian American communities, followed by Punderings, a blog discussing art and activism, womanhood, college, and teenage angst. You can follow her on Instagram at @writerina.