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.