top of page

i. mama


i love you, you know?

i love you even more 

than i ever did him, saw the

first blood forming in my eyes 

as the tongs came out from 

my legs, our juice spilt all over 

the folds of my bed. it’s better this

way, they said, licking the blood 

off my tired, glassy cheeks.


i love you, you know? 

as the doctors had 

finished their feast but your 

blood would never stop falling, 

endless pools of red pouring 

from my insides. it doesn’t 

hurt, i said, when my mother-in-law

prodded me around with that 

cane of hers, asking where and when

she was to expect that grandson of hers.

it will hurt, she said, when i tire 

of your bloody antics. 


it was your blood that fell 

out my eyes as zhangfu1 came 

into me, staining my pillow

red for i knew your brother 

was made and done and so i 

cried big red tears, trembling

hands in my legs trying to pull it

out, red red red gushing onto the 

tiles of your old bathroom floor

as i drowned in the clasps of my

sticky, sticky blood.


i love you, you know? 

when red was the color i wore 

when i lay, writhing in my bed 

it’ll make him lucky, mother-in-law 

says, lucky, not like the first one.

i love you, you know?

as i watch white sheets turn red, 

stained and tainted by the 

daughter i never got to meet.


ii. meimei2 


you love me, i know,

as i watch your face scrunch, fingers 

shake as you feel his head, forcing his

way out of your body, hear your

curdling screams as you choke,

blood, bile and brine bubbling in

your bosom, watch him latch

onto your old and tired breast. 

mother-in-law grins an ugly grin,

i think she’s missing four teeth,

patting your head lest she learns 

it is my blood that she drinks, 

late at night as her grandson’s face 

comes out, splattered in my name. 


you love me, i know,

as they taste your juice again,

sucking the crimson goop

off of their sticky latex gloves, hooked

onto the saccharine sugar of my 



you love me, i know,

as a smile fills my face as 

didi3 vomits bright, shocking red

into our ah ma’s waiting arms. 


1 husband

2 little sister

3little brother

like mother like daughter

By Julia ongking


bottom of page