bao

WRITTEN BY SARA CAO

Your hands, callused with the lines you’ve crossed,

knead the dough with the conflicted push you saved,

but decide not to use on me. Though sometimes,

you remember the dirigible and you navigate out loud-

words like “engineer” “doctor” “lawyer” make

your anger boil alongside the water on the stove.

You’re reaching 100 degrees before it does, bubbling,

brimming with pride, but mostly potency. Provocation

plumps your lips as you’re filling the dumplings

and I’m cushioning the criticism with cuts. Moving on,

you fold, fold me under the pushing heaps of tiger skin,

fold me under the thin wraps of stigmatization.

But this time, stuffed with impatience, your poisoned product

bursts open, and you bao me back into this yellow skin.

You call me your baby, your baobei.

Sara Cao and is currently a sophomore at John Burroughs School in St. Louis, MO. She loves to write creative pieces about the current issues of the world because, as a Chinese and deaf young woman, she believes that writing about her personal experiences in order to empower others is extremely relevant and necessary in the uncertain times today. Outside of writing, she loves to spend my free time drawing, dancing, and editing for my school newspaper.

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