KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 5: Spring 2016
Prose Poem: 155 words


by Xiaorong Jajah Wu


The world is full of monsters. Monsters under rocks and between sidewalk cracks; monsters wearing suits of twill and gabardine; monsters in Volvos; monsters in line at the store. Monsters in cursive and monsters in print; monsters perched by gargoyles, lolling their tongues at stone scarecrows like monstrous fools. Monsters in the closet. Monsters under the bed. Monsters that flicker in your parents’ eyes.

A pause.

You don’t really believe in monsters, do you?

She cuts the melon until it rends with a fierce snap. She hands you a spoon and half a melon. You know this is her way of ending the conversation, the gentlest finger against your lip. The melon is cold and spongy. It doesn’t taste sweet at all.

The problem with melons now, you say, is that you can have them any time you want.

And the woman in the mirror smiles back at you, showing all her teeth.

—Finalist in the KYSO Flash Triple-F Writing Challenge

Xiaorong Jajah Wu
Issue 5, Spring 2016

is an operatic attorney at the University of Chicago.

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