A Bowl of Hotpot on a Summer’s Day

See the old lady’s hands. All furled and weak, bleeding
through the cracks. Her true name lost,
hardly anything on her mind. It used to be
once, when the wooden chipper’s gone
and the cutting board’s soft, pregnant
with water, that you became afternoon’s loud chatters.
A foreign translation of summer’s heat
on the tip of my lips.

So, now,
stay and remind me of the rules of the colony. That
family is the definition of an orphan’s embrace.
Stay and remind me of an intuition’s faithfulness, that
written words are nothing more than broken logic.
But the old lady is now resting her hands. And
the more she blinks through her abstract mind,
the more distorted you become.

Jessica Tan is 25 years old and lives in Singapore. She is currently pursuing her MA in Creative Writing.

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