Julia Uchiyama


there are splinters between my lips,

a flashing sign that says “detour”

and an arrow pointing down

to the place below my hips

where silence places a welcome mat

carefully on the ground


there is a crack between my lips

a devastating divide

with nasty, thick, caulk caked

leaving residual regret

on the corners of my mouth



there is a hurricane between my lips

an earth-shattering realization

and a force that spins and

shrieks and spins and shrieks

to call it

hurricane me


there are thorns between my lips,

an armored jacket that offers

protection from those

who invade my home

and place their war-torn

hands on the inside of my thigh


there is a box-cutter between my lips

a state of emergency

for when the skin I wear

must be ripped to shreds

to reveal what you left



there are bones between my lips,

a six-foot-deep hole

that serves as nothing more than

a warning

a violent reminder

of past me

of future me

of me


(After Natalie Diaz’s “The Red Blues”)



BIO: Julia Uchiyama is a poet based out of Denver, CO, originally from the Chicago area.