by Jewel Cao

Don’t mistake this for seduction. When I make bedroom eyes
at the mirror, I am only trying to see
what the hare’s pupil looks like,
widening like the handspan
of the universe, only one
arterial spray away
from the wolf’s

I intend to prepare myself for violence.

Originally, I wanted to discover a strategy
such that prey use, like playing dead, or
keeping close to home. But after extensive research,
and squirming rats emblazoned across my eyelids,
I concluded that there is no surefire way
to not be a victim- that if God was playing dice,
nobody knew enough of the rules to play with him.

Thus, I went out to the bay and tried to see the orcas.
On the grey salt spray of the West Coast, they are
my cousins. Cruel as they are,
I hoped they would teach me
how to leap like a drawn bow out of water.
Or, at the very least, how to keep my eyes