what my mother (a poet) might say

Mary Jean Chan

that she had scurvy as a child
that I don’t understand hunger until I can describe what a drop of oil tastes like

        that Mao wrote beautiful Chinese calligraphy

that she finds democracy to be the opiate of the masses
that I am a descendant of the Yellow Emperor  

        that Mao wrote beautiful Chinese calligraphy

that she dreams about seeing her father’s heart in the doctor’s fist
that I must only write about flowers

        that Mao wrote beautiful Chinese calligraphy

that she showed her mother-in-law a blood-speckled sheet the morning after
that I shall love a man despite his strength   

        that Mao wrote beautiful Chinese calligraphy

that she wants to devour me back into herself
that I would be ci sin to love another woman

        that Mao wrote beautiful Chinese calligraphy

that her neurons are a crumbling Great Wall
that I am a new earth arising from hierarchies of bone

        that Mao wrote beautiful Chinese calligraphy