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.