The Way to a Chinese Daughter’s Heart

Poppies and WD-40, Chloe Moulin

Imagine clouds salting wildfires
shaped like spicy tofu.

The girl I love stirs incense into Taiwanese films.
Spreads it over my eyes. So why did we sneak into

a Buddhist temple—I was raised Christian, after all.
In this dream, we’ve got bamboo flutes

for legs, woks for hair. The Chinese goddess, Nüwa,
wears an apron. Teaches us to drink the wind.

We flee to a city clotted with condos / cold /
coral-cheeked children / Cantonese

God, the first Michelin-starred chef. Is that who taught you
how to appreciate real food? The girl nods, strains noodles

through an ice bath. I say they resemble cut
umbilical cords. Not funny.

Then, listen to this iridescence, she insists.

Wonton soup gauzy with lime / light. Our lips:
gelatin, suckling takoyaki.

False jade earrings dye my ears green
as time sours the broth. So when do we

dance the night away? A paper lantern blooms
in my stomach. We laugh ourselves

all the way to breakfast, Dim Sum, No Face’s belly.
I seal our smiles inside red pocket money.

I want the girl’s face lit by night market signs,
neon veining her head

like a halo. Or a stir fry squid.

About the Author

Stephanie Chang

Stephanie Chang (she/they) is a poet from Vancouver, Canada. Her poetry appears in The Adroit Journal, Waxwing, Kenyon Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Diode Poetry Journal, and has been honored by the Anthony Quinn Foundation, League of Canadian Poets, and Poetry Society of the UK. They edit for Sine Theta Magazine and read for Muzzle Magazine.

About the Artist

Chloe Moulin · University of Vermont

Chloe is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Vermont. After graduating and earning my BS this May, she will be attending the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to pursue her PhD in biomedical science. She will also be continuing her artwork, and continuing to explore the fusion of art and science. This piece first appeared in The Gist.

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