You named me again,*
as with my mum,
my health flickered;
light a new name and
a child will flourish.
Like the shadow of a dreaming carp,*
I float to the kitchen;
it’s breakfast in Hong Kong.
eight hours to an evening feast;
here, at two am, I nibble cheese and hummus.
When my aunt visits you, she
invites you to eat delicious buns, and
just for a moment, your eyes open;
far away in another hospital bed,
I am not fixed, but I know what the pieces do.
This January, you forgot which
epic drama episode you’d seen,
asked your eldest to play “Oblivion” on repeat;
when I was five, you sent you voice on tape,
telling a story of an elephant and an ant.
Today, more than three decades later, I record:
“Hello Grandma, it’s me – the name you gave me,
I really hope you get well soon!
Here are fifteen kisses; xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx..”;*
with extra – in case one gets lost in the post.
There was/is a Chinese tradition that if a child suffers from health issues, the parents rename and give them a luckier name.
Recently made a fish for a performance. It’s now in the living room hanging out with the religious icons. Carp is a lucky Chinese symbol.
Idea for performing the xx in the piece:
- Rather than making kiss / mwah noises for the kisses, make small / visibly sized square-ish pieces of paper with kisses (e.g in red/ multicoloured crayon).
- Or make the squares or stars (or hearts – maybe that’s a bit cheesy) from multicoloured paper.
- Drop them on the stage in a rhythmical manner
- In silence.
- Or while striking a glass tumbler or mug with a teaspoon like a message sound.
Probably grammatically incorrect but looks like a sideways emoticon of a playful look, with speech marks for my hair, blowing a kiss.