Licton Springs Review
Home

Prose

Poetry

Visual Art

About Us

Submissions

Archive

Mississippi

by Yao Xiao

Was a word
On the radio when
I was seven, my mother
Thirty-five, she listened to
Happy American

On the radio that night
My mother and I sat
At our yellow Masonite table
The little black box spelled

Em-eye-eses-eye-eses-aye-pee-pee-aye
Mississippi!

Say it like a riddle, she said
It is the mother river of the Americans…

I met Mississippi
Behind a small rounded window
In October

She breathed
Engines
Twenty spinning propellers
She touched my dried tongue
Pierced my nose with frozen glass
She fed me over-chewed bubble gum
She talked like a young woman walking down the aisle, asking
"…Trash….?
Trash…?"

But she looked
Like a large
Spreading
Flat mother
Stretching all her skin
Reaching the other bank like
An old queen
Half-dressed in a hanging scroll she is
Long and curvy

She gave birth to the man behind me
She gave birth to
This airplane
And the plain underneath
She is pregnant…


Back to Top