"a rose for our demons," and other poems

a rose for our demons

the red is a secretly bloodstained heart
for my mother and my roots downed in fu
                  (luck... prosperity... riches)
the red is an envelope shaped pouch of money
a semblance of well-wishes from my aunt
across eight time zones and an ocean to sail.
the red is my grandmother; she claps me on the back
as a sturdy personification of Redwood trees
who defies the limits of her physique
as if her hunched back was a hallucination
and it was the ghosts of our ancestors pulling her down instead
             How do I tell her that the ghosts must be impatient?

my favorite shade of rogue rested on my lips
thinly pressed into a malicious smile       (a forced smile)
they’re paired with my favorite eyes, the ones filled with fraudulent love

time, it lasts forever
just like the clock that counts time backwards in the powder room
like the new dining room centerpiece—my wedding bouquet
that welcomes nostalgia in waves, they crashes on the shore of my wine cabinet
where the glass panes struggle to withhold the strain of violent emotion

yesterday I heard a peculiar sound, a windchime-like shatter
gently the vase pieces broke away
and slowly the puzzle ruined itself
a movie scene. the floor bursted alit with flares
this friendly supernova of an ideal

they call it rose tinted, but do not euphemize the red tinted frames
it’s clear either way

gods are just metaphors

Act I                 the Moon
Artemis walks at night
hidden by the fur of protectors
clothed by courage, courage that puts money on the table
the porridge on the table, the milk on the table
and at night she hunts
with vitality
for her daughters (whom she must protect)
and at night she hunts
with strung bark and wooden needles

Act II                the Sun
Apollo and his chariot are the birds of a murder
eclipsing over luscious sky
he is brave, he is handsome
like the sand dunes down south
they scald with fury
you can see the abyss in his eyes
the blue whales and gray foam
and the lone sailor who lost his way

Act III                the Way You Make Me Cry (Earth)
and your well that gorges the equator
night hot to the touch
the intensity lingers on their fingers
your words stung
to fine paprika powder of a crushed petunia
they will drug you with song
drown you in ambrosia riches
to keep warm in solidarity
I have sacrificed much to remain here

Deanna Hu is a writer from San Diego suburbia whose poetry and prose has been recognized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and small publishers. She writes for her school's literary magazine and enjoys eating (fruit!), swimming, and running away from nature.