“a handful of her in my pocket” by Jessamine Liu1 min read

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Illustration by Patrick B. Fernandez

She sits loud-spoken, settling stiff body on stiff mattress

with soft gray curls kissing

humid air and I watch

her hands sweep upward strokes, needle caressing

beanie baby with rat-punctured holes.


I swear she sparkled with the resiliency

of bearing seven children in one eye, and the fragility

of miscarrying in another.


She sets wool on linen on cotton over my fevered body

smooth lined hands snapping

stray threads, and I listen

as her tsinelas meet marble, reaching

porcelain spoon in fresh bird’s nest, and I lie

with layered blankets and sugar-kissed stains,

the lull of Hokkien pulling me to sleep,

carrying a handful of her in my pocket.


Jessamine is a feminist, a proud WOC, and a recent UBC Psychology graduate. She currently resides in Vancouver, BC, and was born and raised in Taiwan, with roots in the Philippines and China. 

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