To the Grandmother Who Mistook Me for a Boy
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To the Grandmother Who Mistook Me for a Boy

I had my fist in your mouth—the dayyou nearly died. Minutes into our mealon Sunday, you slumped over and layso still we thought you’d left us to dealwith the grief you believed we deserved.To curse our bodies for denying us raregifts of sons, despite offerings reservedfor deities weary of yet another prayer.I wanted you to love me since mothergave a damn about what you thoughtof her; because amongst his brothers,father was your favorite. So I foughtto keep you from biting your tongue: myfist in your mouth, your love for me a lie. [End Page 358]

Mary Jean Chan

MARY JEAN CHAN, a TEDx speaker in 2012 at Swarthmore College, was recognized as an emerging poet during her graduate studies at the University of Oxford. She is currently an MA candidate in creative writing at Royal Holloway, the University of London. As Vice President of the Oxford University Poetry Society, she co-edits the Society’s termly journal ASH. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies, including Cadaverine Magazine, The Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Small Craft Warnings, The Charnel House, and In Protest: 150 Poems for Humans Rights.

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