“Arachnophobia” and “Snakeskin”


The last time I saw Popo, spiders fell from her mouth. She scooped them up with her hands and blended them in a Vitamix. Drink, she said, pouring the legs into a bowl of milk. It’ll make you strong. Jiejie and I ran outside where Popo would not go. Once, I watched her collapse on the driveway, bent over like a spiderling about to take flight. I read somewhere that dead spiders encase themselves in cocoons and unwind in the next life. If Popo explodes with spinnerets, I said, do we get to keep the silk. Jiejie made me promise never to ask.




Moth’s father was nearly stabbed to death at seventeen. Instead, he left the Tongs. That’s how Moth understood it, as her father took a swig of his Heineken whenever she brought up the past. Each time she caught the bottle, her mother screamed. Moth learned early in her life what not to cross: CCTVs, Main Street and 37th, and her father’s eyes. Her father understood too well the fragility of bones. Moth saw them as something clean, like her mother pulling the tendons off chicken wings.

Sweet Teeth

Apo comes home with a new hip, a bowl made of copper that we touch through her sweater.