Three Poems by Maniniwei

    translated by Emily Lu

    I live in the windowless toilets of Taipei

    I’m in the windowless toilets of Taipei
    scrubbing my windowless body
    they want to use my body as a meeting room
    to milk cows     to volunteer
    I have to leave to do the washing     using my two hands

    my cat licks open the windows on my body
    washes the windowless eyes on my body
    it’s gone through my heart
    now I’m very good at acting

    I live in the windowless toilets of Taipei
    I use my body’s train compartments
    use the red of my thirty-one years
    use these colors to tie up my hair
    to wash my face

    on Taipei mornings you pray to the gods before breakfast
    the water you drink in the morning     the pee you excrete
    everything will be displayed in your life exhibition

    this life is a pair of thick myopic lenses
    surrounded by enemy soldiers     made to write lines in detention
    with a sewn-on, ordinary ear

    in the third train compartment     I take off my tongue
    in those silent thirty kilometres
    I close my eyes
    my sharpest eye

    me and my hunger

    me and my hunger
    we walk side by side
    one section     is elusive and solemn
    methodical to a fault
    slide it into the stomach
    throw it into the sea

    emerging from the thicket
    discharged from hospital
    you pretend to be mother
    I pretend to be child
    still lacking a pair of eyes

    let me describe for you
    youth’s colorful shirt
    along with her friends
    she entered the train station
    still wearing her mother’s clothes

    a rare housewife disease

    these days the weather has been steady
    no rain     I’ve gone a month without buying eggs
    no particular reason
    I’ve lost the desire to buy or eat the eggs from the supermarket,
    general store, market, and organic food store
    similarly     I’ve lost interest in meat and fish
    this is the occurrence of a rare housewife disease
    the next stage is refuse-to-cook illness
    this disease doesn’t require particular medical attention
    getting take-out a couple of times leads to recovery
    no cause for concern at all

    Emily Lu was born in Nanjing. She completed her MD at Queen’s University in 2017. She is the author of the chapbooks there is no wifi in the afterlife (San Press 2022) and Night Leaves Nothing New (Baseline Press 2019), as well as works appearing in Waxwing, Augur, Honey Literary, Arc Poetry Magazine, and filling Station. She lives in Toronto.

    Maniniwei is a Malay-Taiwanese writer and illustrator. She was writer-in-residence at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2021. Her works have been recognized by OPENBOOK, the Bologna Ragazzi Award, the Taoyuan Chung Chao-Cheng Award for Literature, and the National Culture and Arts Foundation. Restarting her creative practice after age 30, she is the author of more than ten books. She lives in Taipei with one child and two cats.

    Subscribe to our newsletter To Recieve Updates

      The Latest
      • The Usawa Newsletter June ‘24

        There are no chairs for audience in the court room You sit on the window sill

      • Test
      • Navigating Appetites, Feminism, Loneliness, & Murder

        Butter is the first of the books by prolific Japanese writer Asako Yuzuki, to be

      • Food That Becomes Something More – Aditi Yadav Reviews The Kamogawa Food Detectives

        In his magnum opus, The Physiology of Taste, published in December 1825, just

      You May Also Like
      • Father Helpless and Other Poems By Ankush Banerjee

        0330 am Vocal cord the size of Eiffel crash My ears I stuff my mouth

      • Kindness is all By Ranu Uniyal

        Kindness is an urn: empty it With barbs of disbelief It would still, flow