By Jasmine Cui
after Lisa Zou
Begin with a closet. Begin with a parade
of electric-blue umbrellas, rubber rain slickers — a clatter
of glass buttons. Begin with excess
ribbon, the shelf of vacant-eyed dolls. Begin with the way X kisses
mismatched socks because they look lonely. Begin with a litany
of corrugated boxes. Begin with the patient calculus of unpacking,
of unraveling large joys into smaller ones — how he offers
the warm hollow of his stomach, how he always remembers
to close the door when leaving. Begin with the way he stirs awake.
Each morning, X begins like any song, bright & full
of shameless wonder. The only oddity I want
Jasmine Cui is a freelance writer and editor majoring in Political Science, Economics, and Chemistry. She is highly invested in diaspora politics, infrastructure development, and finding ethical, sustainable solutions for modern day issues. Her work has been recognized nationally and internationally by The Gedenk Foundation, The YoungArts Foundation, The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and the Poetry Society of the U.K. — among others. She is the Founder and Co-Editor in Chief of The Ellis Review — a literary journal which amplifies the voices of emerging writers. Jasmine aspires to be like her parents who are first-generation Americans that fought an extraordinary battle for their place in this country.