A Body in Rice

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,

Untouched —

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.

No Comments

Leave a Reply