Naomi Huan




My mama took me
to go shopping because
she had just got promoted
from one cubical
to another
we ate fried chicken
from America
drank Coca-cola
from America too
and I felt very first-world
then she kissed me
with lips
moisturized by delicious
chicken grease
we looked at expensive dresses
in the window
that she said
she would buy me
one day
when I am finally pretty
she said hi to a couple
she knew and the woman
definitely more wrinkled
than she was
had carnations in her arms
why doesn’t dad ever
get you flowers I asked
after they walked away because
that man is cheating
on her
and your father loves us
too much
for flowers
she said




I have ruined
our life together.
Love is a muscle,
and I exhaust it
like a drunk
exhausts his kicks
and penis in
his fruitless wife.
couldn’t I understand?

That I was too woven into life
to deserve a love
like an ice cream
that could make a 5-year-old
go moaning.
That we were past
the silly simple spasms
of I need you,
you need me.

And to sever
me from you –
unviable as conjoined twins—
and all we shared,
should be no disaster: Look!
I sent your letters
to a woman in New Hampshire;
sold your old underwear
for something that’d make others think
I was busy living.

But I weep for mornings with you
that I outgrew,
and I weep
for being whole again.
Roads I used to
pave with means
to take you by your hand,
today I walk on them
and turn away


NAOMI HUAN is an undergraduate student at University of California, Irvine. Her poems have previously been published in literary magazines such as Black Napkin Press, Spires Literary Magazine, New Forum etc.


Read more by Naomi Huan:

Poem in Black Napkin Press
Poem in Spires