Boy who swallows the earth in 10 breaths

Little boy, with that unfiltered swallow,
Green-duffle hood and
angry deep brown eyes.
Eyes that warned me there were
Great fires beyond. Don’t get too close.
He fits himself on the shelf of the
wooden cabinet,
in the front of the Chemistry classroom.
Not because he is small, but
because he wants to see if he could sit on those
wooden boards that built a new
house around his own trembling knees.
He is the type of child
who jumps off planes, and waits for the earth to eat him.
Forehead droplets of water, swimming
towards his blue eyes.
His eyes find mine first.
He looked like the water that pours onto
glass shower doors, clear and
then nothing at all.
After swim lessons and
the rain, where he cheers and excites
and sinks into the bottom of hell.
He runs too slow.
His toes cling onto the
pavement like rope that is
breaking apart.
He echoes my despair. I am not alone.
He sees me as human.
He sees me as girl –afraid of breaking her toes
when she leaps.




Ashley Mao is a writer in San Francisco, CA. She has been published in Textploit literary magazine, the Noisy Island Poetry, Carve, the Cadaverine. She also created an ios mobile app, Midnight Thoughts, which allows users to purge their emotional state at midnight.

Cover Photo:Amaya O (