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  • G. Zhou


By G. Zhou
Posted on May 1, 2024
A platter of mooncakes sit on a ceramic plate.
Illustration Title: A Platter of Mooncakes
Illustration by: Christina Yan
Medium: Digital
Size: resized from 1626 pixels x 2048 pixels
Year: 2024

I ate a whole mooncake by myself for breakfast,

Tugged apart its snowskin

Like some flesh-rending, destructive, 

Chinese, teenage girl-thing hidden away in her bathroom. It was still dark outside, 

But I didn’t turn the lights on for the massacre — 

After all, mirrors are enemies of anger, and rashness.

Mama didn’t tell us why she cried that day

Over the empty wrapper,

Why she leaked ugly tears again, 

The big ones Baba never knew how to softly talk away.

Maybe even worse, I couldn’t say to them:

I was just so, so hungry.


The poem recounts one instance of an Asian-American teen struggling with generational trauma and familial strain. Often, cultural differences can lead to repression of emotions and communication, which greatly affects the lives of parents and the upbringing of their children. By representing Chinese culture in America through the symbol of the mooncake, the teen displays the toll - a kind of boiling-over - that emotional repression can exact. 

[Writing Editor: Kimberly Nguyễn]

[The End]


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