I think of my grandmother whenever I delight over rotting corpses and the life cycle of maggots, when I research methods of picking locks, escaping from car trunks, or working myself loose when I am tied to a chair and someone is trying to pull my teeth out with pliers. I think of her when I see unmarked vans with suspicious drivers. I think of her in dark alleys, or when I read news stories of cat murders.
I wonder, now, of all the stories she might have told had I worked harder to defy her, to learn her native language. I wonder how much more I have lost of my mother because I could not truly speak to her.
“There’s great opportunity for comedy when a character acts out of hubris or spite because they practically write the script for their own downfall. A part of us enjoys seeing the other shoe drop.”
Compression can be a radical point of view, a necessity of wandering and solitude. On the other hand, it risks reaching no one. Xie maneuvers her language with a fine-tooth comb, often beginning where many poets in our cluttered, digital age, conclude: deep inside a fully-fleshed thought or image.
Pig’s feet helps shrink the uterus,
which after birth is a flabby bag of muscle.
Pig’s feet helps get rid of the old blood.
So I am told.