Century Egg

Mother won’t let me eat century eggs because she says there’s lead in them. Most manufacturers don’t use lead anymore, I tell her. They use zinc oxide, good for the immune system. Even though my immune system has already achieved perfection, I remind her. I crack an egg, peel the shell, splice the jelly, expose the yolk—the color of unhealthy stool, I say. Mother slaps my cheek like a slab of pork belly. The yolk goes first, because it’s the richest and doesn’t taste like a gelatinous mirror. I lick hydrogen sulfide and ammonia cream from my molars.


Besides, it was possible they’d revive.


I helped you
up and gnawed
what was left to the core.