I only see my father while burning with fever. He approaches my bed without a face, holding a bowl of pears steamed with rock sugar and red dates. He nudges a morsel against my lip, an Ethiopian gursha, my damp sheets a banquet table and I his honored guest.
Wo wei ni, he says in Chinese. I’ll feed you;
wei, I weep, hello;
I grind a molar into my cheek until it bleeds and a gasp escapes: the first story in the world is one where we eat. Only when I wake, choking on a tongue in search for scrapes, do I remember the mouth is where the body begins its healing.