A Space for Women of the World
a durian shake is intimate, musk
collected in a glass: reminds him
of late nights waiting at Mẹ’s feet, thin
memories of suckling frozen red beans
sailing in coconut milk. Spooning
rice porridge, the folds of rice paper
for spring rolls. Skin of tangerines,
spikes of jackfruit. He takes
condensed milk in his coffee,
lets grease from bún bò huế noodles freckle
his collar, splash on her blouse. She chases
noodles around her bowl’s edges.
Chopsticks slip and she turns away
when he offers a tendon, a sliver of tripe.
Everything in Sriracha.
At family gatherings (his), she stomachs
spongey sausage, rice mashed with mung
bean. She doesn’t make eye-contact
with the boiled chicken, beak
framing its tongue, arms
strung to its sides.
At home, the blender protests
against a frozen durian pod.
She walks onto the balcony
when it pollinates the air.
The spores cling to the wall
waiting for her—
waiting to seed itself
in the Mexican soil of her skin.
To sprout on her tongue
and teach her taste buds
how to forget
the taste of a tortilla’s hot sigh.
Amanda Huynh is a native Texan. Currently, she lives in Virginia where she attends the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. She reads for the Barely South Review journal. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in 94 Creations, Huizache, and The Healing Muse.