by Alice Xu
Water residue drips from the faucet,
slow, hollow taps as they thud
onto the corner of a coral basket filled
with chopped lettuce. Light illuminates
the calluses of his palm, shadowed
by my head hovering over.
I tiptoe on a ten inch stool, examining their lime
crusts and looseness, and the tender skin
that spell out ones peeled away. His calluses whisper
thirty years of hunger, all his stomach knew back then
in the farm of his father’s. In his mouth: the softness of juk,
boiled rice that scalded his tongue,
tasteless as burning numbed the bud.
I place my hand, pearl white and young,
over his, sunburnt and weary, the water
running dry across from us.