Say museum and I could pretend that even dirt

can be enough of a body, but still I sit 


skin whaled and thickening as my mother

teaches me how to hold myself, knuckles 


feeding on the softness of bone as some 

sort of creation of Chinese. Say, the only


difference between memorial and exhibition

is the softness of the body. My mother soaks


my feet in vinegar to remember the softness

of her own mother, and I see my reflection


as a ghost of a sparrow transformed to muscle 

and light. The museum tour plays over again and 


again like a prayer, and my body no longer recalls 

what it was like to be a bird that could sing 


underwater. But still, I dream of  melodies in 

forgotten languages, and from memory, my 


grandmother transforms into a fish, and I, too,

say my name over again and again like a song, like 


a rain that falls because it understands hunger. 




Migration Story 

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Joyce Zhou is a rising undergraduate at Harvard University. Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Poetry Society of the UK, Penguin Random House, National Council of Teachers of English PRESLM Awards, and The Adroit Journal among others.