xusianna

United States

Published Work

Food Writing Competition 2020

MaPou Noodles

    The evening descends outside, color turning to muted blues and shadows stretching longer and wider. The low call of a mourning dove is heard from beyond the screen covered windows. Inside, the sizzling of oil in the pan, steam filling up the narrow kitchen and fogging up the windows.
    Peeling garlic, one of the first things I did to help in the kitchen; I remember how my little fingers worked to remove the papery skin. Once done, I’d quietly watch as my mother worked her magic in the kitchen. 
    The peeled garlic is crushed with the side of a knife and put into the hot oil to fry. Dried red peppers run under water are torn into bits and sprinkled in, the yellow seeds falling messily. The aroma of spices begin wafting.
In the sink, the tofu sits in a tub of clear water, cream skin smooth and cold to the touch. Water droplets slid cleanly off as it’s set...

Food Writing Competition 2020

MaPou Noodles

    The evening descends outside, color turning to muted blues and shadows stretching longer and wider. The low call of a mourning dove is heard from beyond the screen covered windows. Inside, the sizzling of oil in the pan, steam filling up the narrow kitchen and fogging up the windows.
    Peeling garlic, one of the first things I did to help in the kitchen; I remember how my little fingers would work to remove the papery skin. The peeled garlic is crushed with the side of a knife and put into the hot oil to fry. Dried red peppers run under water are torn into bits and sprinkled in, the yellow seeds falling messily. The aroma of spices begin wafting. My fingers smell of garlic and I rinse them at the sink. 
    In the sink, the tofu sits in a tub of clear water, cream skin smooth and cold to the touch. Water droplets slid cleanly off as it’s set onto...

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Once

Once,
I read a book
that flowed like river,
words that poured like rain,
ink that flooded
these two-dimensional pages.

I read and read until
I fell into its ocean,
splashed, surrounded,
swallowed, sunken.

And there
I stayed floating
in this story, watch the sky dance,
the stars make their rounds
all around and there I was.
Slowly, softly, smoothly,
waves that lull the soul
into slumber.

In my dream,
I saw birds flying,
soaring away,
and there was land.
On that land was beauty
in the pools,
the shadows of color,
the spaces between
everywhere and everything
was gloriously beautiful.

And I was there, a ghost,
watching, peering, staring
at this world that was not mine
looking for something
I had lost, I never had, I wanted,
I believed that I need.
I saw a flower bloom and wither,
the flourish of color,
the drain of time.
This was the land of momentary beauty.

But here I was god, ...

My December Writing Competition 2018

A Reminder

A million tiny stings stabbed at my flushed face simultaneously as I left the warm glow of the house. I watch my breath swirl with the frigid air before dissipating. Wiggling my fingers and toes, I crinkle my nose at the sight that lay before me. A beautiful serene scene of gleaming icicles that dangled from the rooftops reflecting the full moon’s soft glow, of ice that melted and smoothed over the rough grooves of tree trunks, of soft sprinkles of powder over the still outreaching arms of trees, of that fresh pure white that lay before me.
But I hate it. I see only how the trees have shriveled up and died, the birds ceased their singing, the sun no longer shined benevolently down upon us. The air turned frigid and hostile until it hurts to breathe, snatching away at any warmth as it swirls inside of us. I stepped out onto the thick snow sheet, hearing that satisfying...

Novel Writing Competition 2018

Queen of Hearts

    That night, she sold her heart off to that charming boy and forever lost it. Under the full moon, she wept for the love she never had, for the love that never was, for the love that will never be. Her tears ran rivers down her face until she had no more and could only lay there tangled in the flimsy gossamer shawl. Silently shaking. Exhausted. She had escaped from her tower only to be trapped by the wall. She had found her savior only to be forlorn. She just watched the full moon.
    She thought back to all the times they had shared together. She remembered their stolen secreted kisses, she remembered how he had gently stroked her face, brushing her hair behind her ears. She remembered the hesitant soft brush of his lips. She remembered the way she clung to him, so afraid to let go.
    She thought about how they first met. The twinkling golden...