Cucumber with lungs (why would you eat sand)
you accompany yumcha (idiot)
joining the table of now floating, piscine,
small delicate dumplings, gleamingly serene,
soft white dough, in a broth boiled
pastel pink shrimps of your own vomit.
almost translucent— I try to keep cool
not you, though. about my echinodermophobia
Elongated slug body but on Mott Street, the sight of you
unwieldy on display in jars, dried,
absorbing light curdled grey and
plunked ungracefully deprived of lubrication
in anonymous sauce brings tears to my eyes.
Menus call you “Get a hold of yourself,”
hai shen the sea cucumbers whisper
but I know better. You from behind glass.
are the echinoderm from hell, “Appreciate your heritage;
a freak of nature, we’re a delicacy, you know,
a vegetable of the sea, an international treasure—
charcoaled, come to life to not eat us would be
The minute someone commands a crime beyond measure.”
your spiky majesty Breathing quickens, I avert my gaze
to the table, Not fast enough
I begin to tremble, You’re already at the table
The texture (slippery, phlegmy) My father sighs when
makes me gag my sister and I
the smell (fishy, salty) dramatically cringe at
makes me weep your porcelain cradle
The shape (maggoty, phallicky) It is terror
makes me scream. accompanied
Your little body, by shiitake mushrooms.
once full of sand