I LOVED A STRAWBERRY - yu-han chao

I Loved a Strawberry

yu-han chao

North of the Liffey, in an alley of reds and greens, I came upon an exquisite strawberry. She sat blushing, all fragrance, soft triangular ruby tapering to the delicate point of rouged lips, whispering, kiss me, kiss me... Stars shot across the sky when I did. Kisses, her intoxicating juices, how she trembled as I bit her.

Only as I swallowed her last incense did I see: a crown of frail green triangles.

Delirious, I stumbled back between withering plants. The darkened market swept towards me the faint smell of berries: a cart of sagging fruit—dappled white, sad. I asked them if they had seen my darling, if they knew where she was. Silent, their snowy fur wavered, drooped in tear puddles. She was gone. With soft fairy wands of ball-tipped hair, their odor, or magic, drained my last sliver of consciousness.

Be gone with you, drunk! Kicks woke me to the slapping sun. Heavily I crept home, and reaching for her, found a knife. Its sharp steel beckoned, the cool metal that ran dizzily along skin. A pierce and a rush of red--my sweetheart!--under my skin all this time... I drank deeply as she wrapped her rippling waves about me. I knelt content in a pool of red liquid and white.

Yu-Han (Eugenia) Chao was born and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, and received her MFA from Penn State University. Her forthcoming books include: short story collection, "Passport Baby" (Rockway Press) and poetry collection, "We Grow Old: 53 Chinese Love Poems" (Backwaters Press). She writes about urban life in Taipei and also does drawings and comics in Chinese. Sample her writing and artwork at http://www.yuhanchao.com