Valedictorian Speech, Apocalypse, I fell ill in English class, Writing Poetry in Menstrual Blood

Valedictorian Speech 

 

And I know child prodigies never live past 18, but you’ve 

looked asphyxiated and a little lost since the 9th grade

 

inventing combinations of initials to dedicate your victories to 

while Chi Ta-wei and Sylvia Plath collect dust by your bed

 

Familiarity with a new city, summers full of heat and storm

The thunder you find most pacifying, gives you confidence &

 

helps you erase the warmth only found beneath rural lamps 

and amber snow. You kill and regret it not once, not even when you

 

remember the day your mother came to the piano, two small bottles 

dangling between her fingers. “Let's paint our nails after your lesson.”

 

& plummeting off your blue and pink bike into the grassy hill

it’s not like you’ll ever get the chance to fall in anything else. 

 

Makes you a little sadistic, so you start poking at 

pretty metaphors until they collapse into piles of ash

 

like a real city girl, leaving endings unburied and unmourned, 

standing in this little row of black gowns with skinny ankles 

 

to choose a prompt for your final quiz, either: 

“Was it worth it?” or “How could I have done better?” 




 

Apocalypse

 

Should

 

every other person in the city of Chicago evaporate 

twisted and plucked away by the senselessness of poets

 

all the white men who try to eat your lips when they

kiss you, and all the churches and their crosses

 

abandoning the bridges and beach, naked as a blueprint

finally tears away the old girl and imprints this fresh version

 

in your irises, which I would flood with the brightness of 

headlights or a breaking fever, for the pleasure of offending 

 

your delicate sensibilities and fragile composition

if only I could locate you in this ghost town 

 

& I would swallow 7 or 8 pomegranate seeds without complaint

to prove that Persephone was only a flawed first draft

 

let you perform a spell on me, devil disguised as an exorcist,

so I haunt all the empty bars for several noons

 

until the blue sky starts to boil with large white stars 

soft and strange like blisters, and following their trails of pus

 

called constellations, I would finally find you in the park

trying to warm yourself with memories of the people who had 

 

evaporated.




 

I fell ill in English class

 

and fled to the bathroom to leave skin cells on its tiles 

avoid ibuprofen so I could be diagnosed with masochism 

ponder the depth of the ache within my body 

feel the edge of my belly for a switchblade opening 

its jaw of teeth to bite affectionately at my 13th rib 

a phantom pain, trying so hard to hurt for something 

not here, makes me a true, cruel poet. 




 

Writing Poetry in Menstrual Blood

 

for lack of a pen during the fever 

collect it in a bottle and lace it 

with cyanide from your nightstand

become round and swaying with poetry 

to avoid stating the truth, plucking out

your tongue to avoid choking on it

reread and lick blood from your fingers

with satisfaction, forgetting its cyanide

 

watching spittle mix with your blood

in the toilet’s porcelain mouth 

as you bed the earliest symptoms of

producing spells in garamond instead of

eggs and ink your veins instead of

sperm, welcoming blue asphyxiation 

softly

Bio:

Nora Sun is a Chinese-American writer living in Chicago. She loves language, iliac crests, and brevity's talent for breeding mystery.