Touch the beautiful curves of the porcelain—whisper smooth.
Why don’t my curves do that?

I want to be serene as the stripes
of water, the paper lanterns,

the inky tree limbs. I want to be a whole forest.
Because the trees in the South

pollinated me. I crave the bowl’s classic shape,
its existence as a versatile, concave

container, waiting to be filled with beloved soup,
saccharine promises, perfect rice. I notice the ceramic

is comfortable with its whiteness. Shit. Adhesive
from discarded stickers clings

to my fingerprints. The ladies of the gazebo
stare at birds all day. The bowl is large

enough to hold: typical romance, pregnant
401(k), marvelous fame. The bowl

is larger than me. Which I also happen to envy.
But I’m sure I can get it to overflow.

Flipping it upside down. There’s three Chinese
characters, who I can ambush

with a plot they have no hope of understanding.
And I realize I want to be a character

too. With circularity. With polished surfaces
that reflect shards of light.



Siew David Hii