"sunset order and raccoon girl" by Hikari Leilani Miya
I was sipping a nightmare (0% sweet, extra ice)
when I saw her bushy tail waving out of a putrid green
trash bin. Burger King’s greasy red sign was buzzing so loud
I couldn’t hear the raffle of whopper wrappers or warring pigeons.
warm obsidian eyes. muddy gray shirt. her short fingers grasping
a half-eaten chicken nugget. her ear was torn in one corner—it was
twitching, twitching, always listening. so she heard me say
I’ll buy you a sunset. we could even put it in a black garbage bag for you,
to match your eyes. she agreed, so we went into the dingy bar
reeking of tacos and tobacco, Adele’s voice undulating through patrons
secretly playing Pokémon Go in corner booths between shots of midnight.
sunset came topped with a smog of cotton candy. she dissolved it immediately,
and for one magnificent moment, a dying swirl of sugar was more beautiful
than the cosmos. racoon girl dipped her fingers in and licked them sloppily
before downing the sugared sun in a single swig. tell me, she said,
what is the most difficult thing in the world? her torn ear twitched and twitched.
putting on a bra, I told her, now on my third nightmare (15% sweet, extra boba)
so that’s why I only wear sports bras. raccoon girl shrugged and told me
she didn’t even know how many nipples she had, though once her tail got caught
on the clasp of some homeless lady’s exposed bra. I don’t miss the hair, she said.
outside the sky was redder than the Burger King sign. I waved her goodbye
as she caught the 38 bus to Target. she didn’t pay her bus fare. I had another
nightmare (25% sweet, extra chocolate pudding) and pondered the great unknown:
nipples, bras, Burger King. when I woke up the next morning, a Target bag sat on my bed.
Hikari Leilani Miya is a Japanese Filipina American, 2019 Cornell University English major graduate, and a current poetry MFA candidate at the University of San Francisco who identifies with the LGBTQ community. She is the assistant poetry editor for USFCA’s literary magazine, Invisible City. She currently lives with her two snakes and disabled cat, but has a menagerie of other pets at home in the Central Valley of California. She is a behavioral therapist for children with autism, pianist, percussionist, and music arranger, as well as a competitive card game player.