my mother has a jar made of human bone by Jackie Yang

listen, she said to me once, when i was little,
back in the day it didn’t matter what you did to a person
after they were already dead.
we knew better in those days, kiddo,
we knew there wasn’t any person in there anymore.
it’s better to make something of old bones. if it were me,
i’d want to be useful. remember that, kiddo.
when the time comes, polish me and bleach me
in the sun. if i’m lying around i’ll only be a basket
full of worms. make sure to dust me off once in a while.
or, better yet, use me to hold perfume.
you won’t even smell my death—that’s a joke.
if you do it right, you won’t smell anything at all.


Jackie Yang is an emerging poet living in New York. Her favorite subjects to write about are family, the natural world, and outer space. When she isn’t working, her hobbies include knitting, gardening, and getting lost in public spaces.