Jasmine_K

United States

she/her. fifteen, i write poetry
if poems disappear they have been submitted to a mag/contest, wish me luck!

Message to Readers

My English skills are fading rn because my brain is going into summer mode. I always go back to Taiwan during the summer and speak pure Chinese for a good 3 months, so my English fluency kinda... deteriorates for a bit. I had to google translate so many English words for this because I only remembered the Chinese translations, it was crazy. Feedback appreciated!

translating diaspora for my chinese relatives

May 23, 2020

PROMPT: Farsick

11
to come home is to wash bowls of dou ya cai in cold water. this is a funny way of saying i had to google the pinyin to remember the vegetable’s english name, these days “bean sprouts” sits funny on my tongue along with all its english companions.

i tend to attribute the fading of my inner monologue to the summer months. it is muscle memory to switch into my parallel tongue come july 3rd. and yes, this is to say i have no mother tongue at all, that if heaven were a thing
i would pray i understood the language.

there is chlorine in the freshly-boiled water, fly wings swishing in my mouth. i go to taipei to ride the MRT, twisted british accent and orange characters. the plastic coin gripped tight and p(s)alms, i spill the 7/11 yoghurt drink on the dark blue priority seat next to me and it takes the shape of angels

a reminder; i still long for los angeles because i think it will finally feel like home
or new york to sit in jean skirts on the subway, thighs sticky against metal poles, daydreaming about swinging on the subway straps like they are monkey bars

the white boba pearl 含‘d in my mouth, on the tip of my tongue as a prayer,
this, too, will fade, 
familiar names at panda express and shut-off endings
a diaspora,

bringing home mung bean cake for yeye except his tastes have changed
and nobody thought to tell me that
san francisco is the intersection of holy and homeless. that is to say i am both and neither,
double eyelids without needing tape.
含'd is like, 100% chinglish but apparently there's no word in English that means the same thing as 含? Like you can say "holding food in your mouth" but that's not 1 word. So I figured chinglish works fine in this case.

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  • May 23, 2020 - 12:51pm (Now Viewing)

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4 Comments
  • inanutshell

    i think this feeling of darting between two different worlds is all too familiar for us westernised asians, and i think you've really captured it well here!


    about 16 hours ago
  • silvernight

    "the plastic coin gripped tight and p(s)alms, i spill the 7/11 yoghurt drink on the dark blue priority seat next to me and it takes the shape of angels"

    good lord. that gave me chils.


    7 days ago
  • poetri

    oh my goodness this is a masterpiece...just incredible. fantastic work.


    8 days ago
  • muirann

    I love the imagery in this! Well done!


    8 days ago