Poetry / December 2017 (Issue 38)

Mother's Ink

by Kit Fan

'A new world auction record for Chinese Ceramics was achieved in Hong Kong when an extraordinarily rare Ru guanyao brush washer was sold for HK$294.3 million after 20 minutes of tense bidding.' —Sotheby's, 2017

I want ink.
Pitch-dark, rebellious: my mother's hair
dyed twice. I, too, dislike
white; pluck it at first sight.
My first brush touched
the ink well and drank greedily.
I see them again,
words fattening in the copybook,
misshapen, lawless:

Then, I see myself running off
like the black viscous
dye left on her plastic brush
that I’d rinsed and rinsed, as the acid
burnt my fingerprints.
Is it clean? Is it clean?
And I said yes, and yes again
impatiently, so that she wouldn't
answer back.
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.