Volume 24, Number 2

because i’ve been listening all along

I know I can’t taste your soup
For what it is
But I want you to ladle me a bowl anyway—

I want your prayer beads, your lotus flowers,
Your rosary, your menorah,
Your smiling statues, your crescent moon,
Your yin and yang. Tangibility

Is but an outstretched hand away—
So take it. I’ll try to taste your tea
And you, mine, even if
At first we’ll feel like squatters
In our own skins. We’ll scald
Our tongues, and you’ll hold
Your own fingers up to the lamp
To examine the burns.

But in time,
I’ll offer you the mooncake
And you’ll offer me the moon—

On that night, we will trace the infinite circle
As it sinks deeper and deeper
Into the sky, finally realizing
The one truth
We have always known

—Stephanie Guo