Zodiac Year of the Lamb

Cotton Candy Woman, Kiara Florez

Mother, in her slight accent,

calls olives “Oliver.”

She loves Oliver, brine

salty in her mouth.

Almost twenty-five years in America

and she cannot differentiate

between a man and a fruit,

but what is the difference, really?

Both are green,

hollow on the inside.

We eat until our cheeks are full

and pretend to be satisfied:

Oliver in our stomachs, something

similar to a stone, but softer,

like a half-dissolved body.

Oliver between our hips,

Mother and I buy red clothing for the winter.

She calls everything beautiful,

mispronounces the word at uneven

intervals, but says it right

when she looks at me, hair braided

into a facsimile of the girl she used to be.

You’re just like me, she says.

Beautiful, like me.

She is wrong, and I never know

how to tell her.

Our lips and our throats match,

but our tongues have no relation.

Her stomach growls.

I pose for her.

About the Author

Grace Wang · Harvard University

Grace Wang is a student at Harvard University. She is from Columbus, Indiana, but spends all of her summers in China, where she first fell in love with storytelling. This piece first appeared in Adroit

About the Artist

Kiara Florez · Delaware State University

Kiara Florez is a graduate of Delaware State University with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. She is an artist who expands abstract paintings with themes of spiritual philosophy and imaginative worlds. This painting first appeared in Collision Literary Magazine.

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