To be loved
Is to wake up to a bowl of steaming hot 稀飯
Tender, bright orange 地瓜 floating
In a sea of glistening 白飯,
To have the tablemat set out already
Smoothed out by wrinkled, veiny 手
Worn by years of 煮菜and 洗完。
Those same 手 have placed
Wooden 筷子 and a 湯匙 on each side
A bowl of 肉鬆,a jar of 酸黃瓜,
And your favorite 麵筋 in front of you
A clean metal spoon in each, ready to be scooped。

My 阿嬤
Instead, she sits next to me, watching me as I slurp
Imitating the satisfying sound of me inhaling food
While she inhales air 
Shhhuuuulp, shhuulp 
Happy that I am happy 
that 我愛吃她做的菜, 
因為 I am savoring her 愛
With every spoonful of her 地瓜稀飯。

And to feel love
Is to 哭 when you are five 
Facing the dark ceiling as you try to sleep
With no warmth of 阿嬤in the bed snoring softly next to you。
Hot, salty tears, sliding uncomfortably down your ears
Your neck
Wetting the sides of your pillow,
You get up and ask your 媽媽 to
So you can weep softly into the phone, crying 
When she’s already halfway across the world。

Writer | Evelyn Chi ’25 |
Editor | Priscilla Lee ’25 |
Artist | Evelyn Chi ’25 |