‘marrow’ by Mary Chen

13 December, 2016 0 comment

when i left 婆婆’s place

the sky was drooling like an infant  cutting her first tooth  a pink mess of sunset  and saliva  and tender throbbing warmth. the train cried as it hurtled the 27 minutes from seawall to sleepy suburb and i wanted  so much  to kiss its windows and say 我知道 but we were packed shoulder to armpit in that compartment  and i was afraid  of the things the white sea could spit at my feet.

i didn’t know how to say

mri in chinese   or how to explain the old age security form. why their subsidized bus pass would take another month  to come into effect. once i took a popo to her cataract surgery and on the way   home we passed the site where tamura house once stood where  nothing  lived now but splintered wood  bones  gone soft and slick with eastside mud. the popo took those bones  dragged them home  told me they would stop the roaches from crawling inside. what must we do  so our seniors will no longer be pushed out of food lineups  yelled at  called dirty chinese on main and  hastings? their old joints witnessed japanese imperialism  groaned through childbirth  now one popo tells me 我想死也死不了 while another smiles and says 我真是充满了爱. both times i couldn’t say anything back.

you deserve so much

more than impatient doctors  mice under your beds  children who have all grown up  grown old  forgotten the sound of coming from their own mouths. more than english drawing a line between those who deserve and those  who take. more than silence.  


Mary Chen is a queer Chinese Canadian artist and writer who has grown up in the cradle of unceded Coast Salish land. She is currently completing a BFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia and has previously been published in Looseleaf literary magazine. 

Featured Image via Shutterstock

0 comment

You may also like

Leave a Comment