by Joy Chee

the way they put it they say the cell
bloats and becomes many then the rest
follow suit and the body becomes heavy
with the scraped edges of charcoal burnt
toast and cigarette butts still smoking out
their asses and the time you called mom
and she said it’s okay to stop talking if you
don’t have the time but the radiation was
already biting into your brain and her brain
and everyone else’s brain while the micro
waves beat the shore into shape and the sand
was getting into your shoes but it just stayed
and stayed and rubbed your soles raw to
medium rare and the blood red was getting
into your intestines and chewing them up and
down if the law of gravity still applies because
the cells travel and the path of least resistance
is wherever the blood falls into the cup of
your hands holding the leaves held by the
hands of the tea farmers in Fujian breaking into
the harvest that broke the bortezomib meant
to break the cells that were bloating and
becoming many but the rest were following
suit and by that time your heart was already

too heavy to hang up.

University & College Poetry Prizes Page