Melissa Cui


Golden August afternoon, 3:54 pm, a digital clock displays in red numbers.
When my stomach betrays me and I follow invisible allure to the kitchen
I stand, all tiptoes on a rickety wooden stool, reaching for the all too high jar

Cotton socks brushing against wood when
The sound of high heels rounds the corner
The empty kitchen whispers excuses and accusations

Waiting for the stern wrinkles to glare at me
I grip the jar tighter, neatly screwed shut, void of fingerprints
Labelled “chocolate chip cookies,” ornate black swirls and simple handwriting

Just like the type of character my mother plays
Clean, clear-cut, sophisticated, beautiful but assuming
Yet nothing can touch her heart.

Prepared to accept the punishment, but
A twinkling voice floats over, plucking strings of a harp
“Cookies only after dinner, honey” the words smile at me

I notice two more pairs of shoes by the front
When we’ve finished dinner and she’s polishing the dishes
she forgets to give me cookies.


©2016 by the author. Used with permission.

About Melissa Cui
Melissa Cui is a high school junior from New Jersey. She began creative writing in 10th grade and is still in the process of understanding its workings. Melissa mostly writes prose and free verse, but one day would like to write something funky, something ergodic. She’s an avid lover of animals (especially seals and dogs), art, and jazz. You can usually find Melissa listening to music and mulling over human existence or sketching while listening to her favorite podcasts.
Writer's Statement
I write to explore and provide insight to human emotion. I often write about nostalgia and childhood, times in which we were able to fully savor life without understanding how it worked. Personally, these topics are important to me because I feel that more now than ever, change is coming over in waves, and I am being washed away without being able to adjust. In addition to change, I write about human emotions, in an attempt to understand both myself and others better.