The Bungalow Chicken
Nainai is hunching over a washbasin filledwith steamy red water and a naked chicken, cut openfrom the abdomen, feet hanging out of the edge straight,stained by its own blood and feather. Nainai is cleaningguts and trimming fat from this rooster that she sawgrow up. An di bao bei ga da hui lai lei, she smiles,my precious baby is back to me, teeth the color of her brick gateand wrinkles tying suntanned happy knots. She mumblescomplaints of Ma who bought pricey braised beefand chicken feet against her will as she chopsthe rooster's guts and fat into fine pieces, gathersthe slimy organs onto her left palm, and throws them backin the chicken coop where they came from. Will you staythe night with me this time? she asks, watching the hens fightfor the bits of their former lover. I look at the earth and smellgoat milk with sugar, duck egg soup with sesame oil,and her husky hands on my forehead when she wakesme up at 4 a.m. to feed that rooster. The knots untie as she walksaway swinging: Don't go so far that I can't touch you anymore.
Copyright © 2019 by Winniebell Xinyu Zong
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Winniebell Xinyu Zong is a writer and djembe player. She was born and raised in an industrial city in China. Zong holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Franklin and Marshall College. Her recent poems have appeared in The Penn Review, Black Works, and Sierra Nevada Review, among others. She is now an M.A. candidate at Kansas State University and edits the literary magazine, Touchstone. She is a poetry reader for Frontier Poetry and Pleiades: Literature in Context.
Little Patuxent Review (LPR) is a journal of literature and the arts, publishing poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork. LPR welcomes most US-based contributors and prides itself on supporting both up-and-coming and well-established artists and writers. LPR reflects and draws upon the creativity and diversity of the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond by promoting the literary and visual arts in print and throughout the region’s community and educational venues.