This is the love song of my girlhood:
The lilting peal of spoon and bowl
The Buddhist chant in the kitchen
My grandmother stirring the soup, greeting me with a rasp,
Welcome home. How’s your day, my dear?
Actually, she wouldn’t really say that; we’re not that kind of family.
Instead, she’d say,
Nî chī le ma? Have you eaten?
And now I know they meant the same thing.
So when I ask my lovers, have you eaten, I’m really humming the love song of my girlhood.
Have you eaten?
And if you haven’t, let’s get some food, let’s feed you.
Truly: let me love you.