“bikini tits shot glass” by K. Cheung2 min read

11 June, 2020 0 comment

Illustration by Wendy Ma

when my mom married my stepdad
signed a deal along with his sponsorship papers
he brought into our house
a local souvenir

a shot glass
molded into the shape of a woman’s bust
nipples erect and all
red and white bikini
little maple leafs
painted onto see-through breasts

he keeps it on the dining table
so I stare over my bowl of
cereal, fried rice, plain rice
pointed glass nipples
breasts plump, indulgent
hard, cold

before my mom married my stepdad
our home was full of women
mom, sister, me

mom thinks the shot glass is funny
a little joke
no matter how much my sister and I protest
try to explain our Western ideas
to this inherently Eastern woman

how do you say “objectification” in Cantonese?
how do you explain misogyny to the most important woman in your life?
how do you criticize the patriarchy when it’s all she’s ever known?
so ingrained in tradition
disbelief that she would stay on the side
where she and her daughters would lose the most

sometimes, as I pause to carefully separate
the fish bones from the flesh in my mouth
I hide the shot glass
nudge it behind a jar of hoisin sauce
a bunch of bananas

but it always emerges
this prized possession
with its demeaning glint
as if one of the bone shards has caught in my throat
refusing to go away
no matter how much I squirm and cough

 


K. Cheung is a Chinese Canadian who spent a tender part of her childhood growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown and Strathcona neighbourhoods. An emerging artist and student at Simon Fraser University, she writes to process and cherish the intersections of her identity. Aside from writing, Cheung also enjoys exploring other creative mediums including digital illustration, zine-making, and collage.

Wendy Ma is an Illustrator and Designer based in Vancouver. Born in China, raised in Tokyo and Vancouver, she developed her interest in sharing her worldview and experiences as a person with cross-cultural background through art. Fluently speaking three languages, she is passionate about communicating emotion through her pieces. She currently works as an illustrator and Designer at IBM. Her work is available @ wendy-ma.com

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