Issue One,

Summer 2020

A. Yang

LOVE

Poetry

household love

in my household

love gets diluted

through six tones

four dialects

two generations

of sacrifice

 

it has survived

three wars

an invasion

oceans, famine

and daily desperation

 

in my household

apologies are found at the bottom of fruit bowls

neatly folded sheets

tidy corners

and repeated reminders to

eat, eat, eat

 

a bowl of congee

for a head buckling

under the weight of

self-doubt, insecurity, fear

warmth in a porcelain bowl

as fragile as my ego

and a hug I’ve never known

 

in my household

honesty is a side dish

served scalding hot

sharp as a cane across my knuckles

leaving a bitter aftertaste in its wake 

 

back-handed compliments are passed across the dinner table

affection measured by comparison

to a friend’s brother, a doctor

a distant cousin, a lawyer

loved earned by titles

framed for display on a mantle

memorialising all the things I could never be

 

in my household

love is rationed

like supplies in wartime

stored safely in our basement

sheltered

protected

for the next generation.

A.Yang is an Australian based writer who loves exploring creative projects around Asian-Australian identities, cultural exchange and food. Instagram handle: @imbyelaw.  
 

QUINCE magazine