Plain China


by Da'Shawn Mosley · University of Chicago
Immolation, Shandton Williams · University of Georgia

after “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid


Witness the three guys march right in and take what they want,

         hold my aunt inside her bedroom and close the door. I want you

to muffle her screams, terrify her children, turn away from youth,

          survey and make final this lack of justice in discovering

hidden horror. Someone please find the way I drive ambiguous.

          The world’s fastest man can go and never stop just like a train,

so lay one sister tied up on a track and store the other with her,

          so they may die together. I don’t know why cousins kill cousins

in front of convenience stores. Only that a violin allowing a bow to go

          against its strings seems to me as conventional as bulletproof glass

enclosing a movie theater—that when my cousin, age ten, takes

          naked photographs with her cell phone, posing like a girl

in a rap video, her deadbeat dad should come out of the woodwork

          and call whatever mess he’s made the twenty-first century.

About the Author

Da'Shawn Mosley · University of Chicago

Da'Shawn Mosley is a sophomore at the University of Chicago, majoring in English. He has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts by the White House and the Department of Education. His prose and poems have been showcased in several art galleries nationwide, including the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. His poem, “Boy,” was first published in The Adroit Journal, an unaffiliated, international literary journal edited by undergraduates.

About the Artist

Shandton Williams · University of Georgia

Shandton Williams is a senior, graduating with an English and creative writing degree and a minor in film studies. Immolation first appeared in UGA’s journal, Stillpoint.