by Jesús M. Maldonado Treviño
The wall is ivory, overcast
by the sun slipping in from the window.
Were Li Jie’s shadow
smaller, the room
would be brighter, a ringing bell.
I once stood
in the river. It’s rushing outside
under a fog. There was a shard
of glass between the pebbles. Is it
still there? When I stood in the water
I’d taken off the white dress.
kept hers on and she studied my
flesh—the fat falling over my hip,
beside my wrist, wearing at my waist
—and reached down to the river. Her
feet were bruised in blue and mine were pooled
in garnet red. On the riverbank, there was
a lone magnolia flower as white
as my clothes. My fingers dug into the slit
in the sole of my foot. I barely tugged
at the glass pinching my tendon.
She dug in too. The cut remained when we
started binding our feet. He’s walking
over. He peers at himself in the mirror.
He brushes my cheek with his torrid thumb.