do you regret growing up away from home?
by Kayla Adara Lee
imagine; time yawning up to swallow the cracks. everywhere, and
endless, and eager to please. to please who, you may ask? not me.
not you. but the kampung mother squatting outside by the gate,
offering satay to a wary, half-grown cat whose belly rounds far too
soon, and whose kittens wake squirming underneath the call of the
azan, and the little children who pray for those kittens, and the auntie
that watches from afar, and as evening falls they will all face northwest
and come together to be whole again. i strain to claim a part, to hear the
susurrus of milk rushing into a chipped cup upon waking (antithesis to
propriety but oh so delicate on the ears), to not remember i am a guest of
my own making. hesitance to soar on the words I was born with, in an
aviary half-bursting and birdsong trilling from every om and tante, is to resign
myself to the hollow of a concrete tree-trunk because the sky can’t hold us up
much longer. have mercy. i am so many, and scattered, and tethered to the fuzzy
still image of something that once was there but no longer is.
Kayla Adara Lee (she/zie) is a Hong Kong-based writer of mixed Southeast Asian descent. Most recently, her words have been featured in literary publications such as Humana Obscura, Daisyworld Magazine, and the upcoming second issue of Wet Love. Common themes and topics of interest in her works include cultural loss, critiques of anthropocentrism, and posthumanism. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Medium at @kadaralee.