I Believe in Laundry, Julia Tasho
I don’t believe in God,
But mother tells me to pray
We don’t go to chùa or burn red marks on our backs.
But we must believe in love.
Ancestral love leans forward expectantly
Peeking into our cities.
Hushed tones undercut loud gongs
That beckon them to come in.
Love waits with ghostly hands beckoning untouched fruit.
My mother lays down the fresh rambutans,
The papaya, sapodilla, mangostreen,
They collect at my feet in bunches.
Feet pressed together on wood
Hands folding into erect wings
And smoke unspools from the wick.
Soft fruits expand like lush round geometry.
I lay me down beside it,
Seeing the fleshy skin wrinkle, dry and slip off the fruit.
Floating paper skin folded over itself.
See how it sheds its plumpness, its softness.
The rambutans decay,
Smoke clears from the incense,
and I am still here waiting.
You love the idea of
This body so without love
It feels like dry swallowing a pill
I should be in church
Or the bed of a boy
Today I understand
That love is
Reflections in a mirror.
A body in rice.
About the Author
Amanda Reid · Michigan State University
Amanda Reid graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 with a degree in English and Fine Arts. “A Body of Rice” first appeared in Red Cedar Review.
About the Artist
Julia Tasho · Guilford College
Julia Tasho recently graduated from Guilford College with a degree in Philosophy. She makes collages in her spare time and tries to prepare an elaborate breakfast for herself every day. “I Believe in Laundry” was originally published as “Untitled” in Guilford’s campus literary magazine, The Greenleaf Review.