The Lies That Bind
We don’t know how old Grandma is. She stole a few extra years in Toishan to work in Hong Kong— an early birthday gift for a hungry house.
Now her age is another secret with no answer, like what’s really in her delicious jellyfish sauce and why have I never brought a boy home.
My grandmother’s tongue bends time, stretches the years like practiced hands pulling pushing kneading dough into a shape agreeable
to her memory. She’s been telling me she’s ninety proudly for the last six years.
She asks again when she will get to eat beng, if I’ve met any good men, when she will have her cup of cha . I wonder if the truth would scald or soothe I try to remember if she’s 91 or 92; I think of the woman I love and I say, Soon, Grandma. Soon.