at my dinner table

in summer
i suck oil from the fried skin of duck breast
	mama whispers to me.
i struggle to say it back.

dirt green and electric cyan stare at me
from the shoe cabinet.
all six sizes too big. sister 
drops the unwanted pairs
but my ankle still juts from the slipper
like misplaced chopsticks.

giants crowd around the dining table. a safety hazard
sticks from the hands of my sister.
you get 28 饺子    	grandma counts
as she scoops them into her plate.
8 means fortune!
my bowl rings with impatience, knowing
it will be filled by my own unskilled hand.

we swat at mosquitoes before dusk
as the ten hour feast begins, forming bubbles of yellow
under my skin.
mama soaks me in turmeric paste.

look, they match!
	sister points to her leg.
i look up to meet her eyes
and we admire our fresh meat.

after silence,
sister drags the duck head from her bowl,
laced with shredded cabbage and
leftover broth, dripping.
she says.
our tight fists intertwine

two pieces of a wishbone.

*Translated from Mandarin Chinese:
*北京烤鸭 - Peking duck
*饺子 - dumplings

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