Becoming a Whiter Bone
by Olivia Hu

In 1968: my mother carried
me in the small of her back,
the North as kerosene-lit 
dream. Footsteps smalling
to the America that did not
love her, her limbs tangled
yellow in spelling unlearned
song. Archipelago of home. 
America loved the flaxen of
whiskey and fries, my mother 
said, a yellow that differed 
from her bead-strung skin.
She laughs at her own
jokes partly to forget how
the compass lines slowly
shifted to crosshairs. 
To remember also how to open 
a mouth without twisting it.  
She wishes me a whiter 
acrylic, her eyes lined tight 
with what has entered and left.
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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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