Feileen Li

aftermath

The living room is the same.  The floor is messy.  Cotton and dust still spilling and spilling and spilling and spilling onto a burgundy rug. … Read More »aftermath

Parentification

“Noo,” she says with a whine that’s high and pitchy and scrapes at my nerves.

Staring down at my little sister who’s half my height but somehow twice as loud, I breathe in carefully, tamping down on any feelings of irritation and anger. She’s six. I’m twelve. I need to be mature.

“Okay,” I say slowly with faux calmness. I’ve already learned by now that getting angry at my little sister never ends well. “What do you want me to do?”

She scowls at me, hands balled into half formed fists as she twists her lips in frustration. “I don’t know!” she shouts, hands now fully clenched. “Just, just do something!”

The Blood of my Family

Harsh, jagged lines mark calloused fingers,

Like cement split from an earthquake,

The skin of their hands is cracked open.

Fresh blood spills thickly out of open wounds,

Soaking soft brown dirt with the dark red

Of sacrifice.

My Mother’s Hands

Dear Asian Youth,

My mother’s hands are heavy

Like fabric soaked in tepid water

Prayers lace the gaps of thin worn fingers

Strength etches into fragile feminine hands

Asian is Not My Brand

Dear Asian Youth,
It’s a compliment, I tell myself as I plaster on a thin smile in place of the small frown that twisted my lips moments before the sound of, “Of course you got a good grade, you’re Asian.”