i have slowly been consuming
the last traces of my mother

i hold the gurgling maw
of the vacuum as it swallows

tawny strands of hair &
dust on hardwood floor

today i read that household
dust is mostly skin

as if to say outside dust
is stranger or more spectacular

as if to say i am watching
this monster tear into

my mother again & again
& calling it “being productive”

my teeth wearing themselves
down on leftovers: rice & soup & barley

picturing my mother stooped
over the stove bloodletting

when she was here
i couldn’t wait for her to go

now i sit alone in the freezer
& eat everything

without breathing
oh i eat it all

- Ang Shuang, Asian American Writer’s Workshop