Poetry / October 2017 (Issue 37)


by See Wern Hao

Eating in excess would make you sick
of what you like.
And yet I always took in more
than I could swallow. Greed expands
according to the waistline. I am told
when I am thirty, I will pay pound-for-pound.

According to my grandmother,
scooping fish onto my plate,
I have been a growing boy since seven.
When I offer her a slice, she spits
it's okay, you eat. ahma
full already.
So long
in this house of glass,
she has spent her life.
She keeps saying she is happy with the bones.

When she tried to teach me how to cook
and failed, I learnt the ways
we will separate.

By how we speak English with different tongues.
Slow down. By how, at her age, love is passing on
the best parts of herself
to be consumed. Her recipes are scrawled
on yellowed paper. The aroma of fish oils,
silver flesh steaming on a plate
will be locked away by my hands
which have only known taking.

Do not choke on a hidden bone.

I see her looking out of the window, wide-eyed
and almost shivering against the sun.
As if she wants to speak, yet even words scrape
against her throat. She has nothing left to give.
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.