RSportfolioPOETRYMahalo
by Lucy Zhao
Runestone, Volume 1 


Mahalo 

5,000 orchids fall from a helicopter onto Hilo, Hawaii
on May 4th. Paid for by Disney to celebrate their new cruise line.

I am still rubbing dandelions under my chin,
when no one is looking, to see if I’ve fallen in love.

Yellow is the color of desire. The crushed pollen
under the heat of my skin. The yellow wallpaper
of your living room as we stare at the TV,
pinkie fingers dangling dangerously close

together. A boy told me once,
we are meant for each other. You are scorpio
and I am cancer, both shelled creatures
that claw at sand. You on land
and I in water.

Floating, I peer at the fish below,
breathing through my mouth a hollow sound.
All I feel is the scrape on my knee
from rubbing cells with coral.
I’m afraid the coral will die now.

The word for white people here is haole,
pronounced like a laugh then oh! and lei.
It means no breath. When we greet a close friend,
we put our foreheads together and open our mouths.
We breathe each other’s air, the sound of waves.


Lucy Zhao

University of Michigan

Lucy Zhao’s work has appeared in Xylem, Outrageous Fortune, Fortnight, and The Michigan Daily. She is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in business and English.

 


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