• Mai Begins in the City

    Noel Yu-Jen

    Summer 2023

    Ciudad for Soledad. I was naked on the sidewalk I called it
    decolonized couture. The trees graffitied it. The wrongfully accused
    birds were gossiping in the precinct. I tried explaining this but the dogs
    were only interested in my accent, took turns guessing
    who I came from and why. I was too young I was just born
    I was speaking five languages and all of them I stole from the future.
    Everyone and everything was nameless even the rabbit
    who came to interview me and prod at my undocumented diction
    she was a real talker. Capable of prayer and other adult ceremonies like being unleashed
    but never touching me if I didn’t ask for it first; animal behavior.

    Noel Yu-Jen earned her B.A. in Spanish & Portuguese from Princeton University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in West Branch, ghost city review, and diode poetry. She lives & writes in Brooklyn.

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