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To my fourteen-year-old self, Years ago, when we first came to the U.S., remember how Mom used to take you with her to the houses she cleaned? You’d sit in the kitchens of these houses crammed full of wide empty spaces, feet dangling, too scared to touch anything in case you left a mark.
The frightening monoculture of China looms over Taiwan like hurricane clouds. But we have our own history, our own culture, our own ethnic makeup—many Taiwanese have Japanese and Aborigine blood—and our own way of making beef noodle soup. It’s not just niúròumiàn, 牛肉麵 — it’s Táiwān niúròumiàn, 台灣牛肉麵.
Dear Sweet Baby, / I thought of you last night. / Your memory hit me with / A pierce and an ache, / And I sobbed longingly for you. Deep belly crying, / The kind that howls. / Three years ago today / I found out that after 13 weeks of carrying you, / I had lost you.
The first time I read On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous, I got off the bus three stops early and cried outside of a 7-Eleven. So, when Ocean Vuong came to Seattle for a collaborative event hosted by the Seattle Public Library and The Elliott Bay Book Company, I knew I had to attend.