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by Kayla Adara Lee

fish to fish. sliding so effortlessly, 

a knife in the water,  oil rising higher and higher--

                                                                                      -- and then, a barking cry:


little one, when did you fall into this stew?

                                no why. 

                                              just when, 

                                                                        and where, 

                      and whom;

                                             questions all darting past

inchoate-me still sliding in spices, encased in gelatinous membrane. 

there are too many of us,                                                       you argue. and too few plates.

we don't belong in the kitchen.                    yes, even you;

draining moon-sized portions from the pot.               you, who

severed my song from the seabed long before i drew     breath, 

or          brine. 


always told me i was an old soul. meekly cajoled. 

inviting arthropods bound blood and limb to my 


rotten is the flesh 

scoured from my bones; they grumble in a 

symphony-sweating chorus of gnashing teeth, as if 

its foreignness repulses  

but excites them.                         


                                                mother forgive me, for 

                                                                                        i have heard every sound

                                                a mouth can make. 

Kayla Adara Lee (she/zie) is a Hong Kong-based writer of mixed Southeast Asian descent. Most recently, her words have been featured in literary publications such as Humana Obscura, Daisyworld Magazine, and the upcoming second issue of Wet Love. Common themes and topics of interest in her works include cultural loss, critiques of anthropocentrism, and posthumanism. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Medium at @kadaralee.

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