- POETRY -

JESSICA GIVES

ME A CHILL PILL

 

Angie Sijun Lou

ISSUE TEN | SPRING 2018

I keep waking up in different

beds and in this same

body. I have to say this

right away so you know

it didn't start with limbs

slackened, hair

oily, a cruelty towards

the sun. It started

in the backseat of Jessica's

Pepto-dismal truck. She

tied my hair back with

rubber bands when

the freeway passed clean

through us. Jessica says

I can feel like a cherry

blossom tree wobbling

under lightning. Jessica

has a forehead scar from

the deep end of a pool. I

ask Jessica what drowning

feels like and she says

not everything feels like

something else. That night

we lose the 7/11 lottery

but I draw my lucky

number, no quarters

so we scratch our tickets

with hangnails. I guess

that's the sanctity of ritual—

a ceaselessness in how

I look at every drop

of rain before it touches

ground, the way Jessica

mouths my name in her

sleep eating each syllable like

a minor god. I'm coming out

as someone who loves

things unevenly, my theologies

strewn out in the dark,

this iPhone an almost-oracle.

Jessica forces me to watch

every sunset even when I

am full. She puts her fingers

in my mouth and says open

your eyes. Open them.

You see the small-town girls

on big billboards? One day

that's us.

Angie Sijun Lou is from Seattle. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, Apogee, The Rumpus, Blueshift, Hobart, and others. She is a PhD student in Literature at UC Santa Cruz.

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