ice cubes

By: Arden Yum

I rub ice cubes on my face in the morning

when it is swollen from soy sauce

or bad dreams or no sleep. The water beneath

my skin is thick like jelly, yellow & responsive

to touch. I lose track of the bones. I want the

hollowed-out cheekbones of the girls who walk

on runways. The deep set eyelids of the women

who wear pearls & white skirts that fall

at the knee. The delicate tissue

under my eye is for collecting tears. The flesh

on my face is for softening blows. For sleeping

on linen pillows in the summer. For my mother,

soft hands holding my face up when I cannot.

Grains of rice stick to the sides of my mouth,

build up a layer of starch. My smile widens.

Head too big for a bike helmet. For a baseball

cap. For a girl. Ice cubes it is. Make me go down.