— Julia Zhou

The gutted eyes of fish are

affronting. Eviscerating. As if

staring into the spaces between

the brain & skull & parasiting

the oxygen. It’s hard to think

how any of this is relevant,

when the fish is opening and

closing its mouth as a metronome

and the monger reaches in

to slice out the intestines,

except the eyes are still staring

and the mouth is still blubbering

and I am slipping bit by bit into

my own mortality.

And afterwards

the limp scales croon unto my breast –

an unhungry babe




Julia Zhou is a Chinese-American writer and high school senior from Herndon, Virginia. Her writing has been recognized by the Poetry Society of the UK and can be found in Antithesis JournalBlue Marble Review, and Typishly, among others. Find her napping with a Campbell’s textbook cradled in arm, playing quizbowl, or staring at the moon.