On days like today, when I miss my mom, I try to imagine her in her life before the sea, even if that means I wasn’t born yet, because I know she was happier then. I try not to picture her in her red urchin form, though that is the only form I know her in. When I picture her human body, I see her skin tattoo-painted in the most beautiful Italian frescos, winged-humans and toga-wearing great thinkers and bosomy fruit trees and storm clouds covering every part of her…
“Mom has been acting a little strange lately. We can all agree.”
Suzanne stood on the talking stool in the centre of the treehouse. The talking stool had three legs and wobbled dangerously if you didn’t spread your weight right, but when you stood on it, nobody dared to interrupt you…
Tonight, the TV reports, herds of cattle throw themselves into the flames of the Amazon and roll out in batches …
It wasn’t the clamor of the birds, or the loneliness of the buildings, or even the guilt surrounding the stolen contents of the crates behind me. I had long since convinced myself to stop worrying about these things. It was something in the air—a heavy, sticky feeling. A sense of dread …
I’m not sure if Antonia intended to feed Maya to the lions from the beginning, or if it was an idea that dawned on her when she saw their yellow teeth. She loved her boyfriend, but something about his child unsettled her …
“Where did your Malaysian accent go?” A close friend asked me after I came back from my first year at university. We were sitting at a café with sleek glass windows in Kuala Lumpur. “Give me a few days, it’ll come back.” Till then, he had to deal with speaking to a foreigner …
My Amma’s Malayalam is Trivandrum slang,
shifting between simple
churidar and formal sari in a blink.
I was on my way to visit my grandmother in Pasuruan, a five-hour bus ride from my tiny hometown Caruban. Every school break, my mother and I spent a few days in the countryside. My father took us to the square, dropped us off at the gate, and reminded me, while my mother was busy buying snacks and water for the ride, to protect her and myself on the bus…
sliced onions fried with miris and sugar
spotted with chili seeds
creating fire within my tummy
the spicy seeni sambol wrapped in
soft crunchy appa remind
my taste buds that they are alive
Garlic, heavy salty bone broth, steaming pasta-like galnish and tender lamb: the way to any Chechen’s heart. Nothing feels more like home than galnish heaped high onto plates, with thick broth served in earthy mugs on the side.
The bacon sizzles in a silver pot on a spiral top that burns
To a tangerine orange beneath sweet cabbage.
Turn that stove down low, boy!
We put on our aprons and pick up the knives
Peel off the skin from the root of the problem
Chop up the large questions into roughly diced answers
The idea of living on a farm with fresh eggs and pasture-raised chickens seemed so romantic, so ethically responsible. Like the lotto commercials, it was our ticket to dream. Eight years ago, my husband and I left the city to try and create our fantasy …
back when Grandmother had one breast and i had none
she helped me realize strange visions,
the particulars only a child conjured.
i asked for a birthday pie shaped like a fish