They were dry rice larvae
caught in the net of the colander
my mother would use—

I would pry them off— christen my fingers
with their desiccations in a velveteen dust.
When we ate rice I always knew to eat

every grain, lick the dust off my fingers—
slick porcelain was pristine.
Once I nicked my tongue on the rice plate,

branded my blood and spit
into the rim. I found that plate later—
touched rust and licked it to communion.

Wafers of dry rice rose with saliva—
my blood was long gone.

Katy Kim is a junior at Newark Academy in New Jersey. She is a graduate of the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio and the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. Her work can also be found in Canvas Literary and Polyphony HS. 

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