sharp knives in a kitchen
cut from crisp asian pears and pickled radish
stored in jars you promised could become
more than glass prisons.
turn back time, so you can ask me
again: 你想吃什么? no
shortage of berry, melon, spice
from careful cupboards you have hidden loneliness
in a place for someone to find.
我: too filled with pride to visit on New Year’s
prioritizing the home, the space I have made
forgetting to leave you a corner for the loneliness
I was desperate not to find
你: since when have i learned to hide my loneliness
in the kitchen? folded in napkins
damp from recording this diasporic nightmare.
love is not the same as never visiting.
sometimes i am sitting in your kitchen,
carving your favourite pears to keep in glass windows
Vicky Chen is a writer and teacher living on unceded Coast Salish territories. She graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, and decided to pursue a BEd shortly after, as there is so much learning and unlearning in the world to be done. She believes a hot bowl of soup is the best thing in the world.