THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT


Eat 'em

by Tabitha Payne

Illustration by Sophia Meng

published March 15, 2018


I’ve figured it out

 

The trick is eat everyone

Eat ‘em all

Put ‘em in your belly

They can’t be mean to you if you’re digesting ‘em, see

 

Take each and every last one of ‘em

And roll ‘em up, up into a little dumpling that you deep fry in that wok your Ma         gave you

That you never really knew how to clean

And deep fry ‘em

So their skin, all fried up and oily now, can be as brown-ugly in their eyes as yours         always was

 

Dip ‘em in that soy sauce you mix up with the spring onion

That you never really knew how to cut right like how your Ma could do so quickly

And eat ‘em

 

Fast and quick like how they eat you when they do it

All fast and quick like your Ma with a knife to those spring onions

Or fast and quick like how your Ma can wash a dish

She washed all those dishes for you so her hands were all rough like dish sponges

 

Eat ‘em eat ‘em all

Feel ‘em warm and spicy on your tongue and chew ‘em soft and slowly so they         feel         as

Chewed up as you do when they do it

Rip apart the skin and

Chew the onion spicy good like white teeth juicy garbage in the sea

 

Swallow ‘em and roll down that lump in your throat

Swallow that lump in your throat like how you must when they do it

Roll down like how your Ma rolls down the batter for that dumpling

That you never really knew how to roll so you had to buy pre-rolled dumpling batter

 

And digest ‘em

Digest ‘em slow and painful like how they digest your Ma’s food

They love your Ma’s food

But they hate to shit you out

 

But all you gotta do is eat ‘em—

I’ve figured it out, see—

Eat ‘em right back like how right they ate you

So when the oil is all hot and spitting—

Like how they spat at you that time they drove by you in a car all quick and scary         like that

Fast pluck a hand down and pull those dumplings out

With two fingers quick like chopsticks they don’t know how to use

Pull ‘em out fast and quick like how your Ma could never feel the heat

Like how she kept washing til the softness fled her hands

Like how she washed so many dishes they can’t scan her fingerprints anymore—

Ma doesn’t have fingerprints anymore—

And still how do you do it Ma

How can Ma still wanna cook you dumplings when you’re sad?

So graceful she still cooks ‘em for you when you go home

Cause someone spat at you when they drove by you in the street

 

O she cooks ‘em how you wish you could—

 

Now

Once they’re all hot and ready

Dip ‘em in that sauce you mixed up with the spring onion

And quick

While they’re still warm

Eat ‘em

 

They can’t be mean to you if you’re digesting ‘em, see