by Sara Paye
6 large hard-boiled eggs
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup of water
2 Tbsp rice wine mirin
1 stalk green onion
Sit down with pen and paper to draw a portrait of me—make it lines on lines. But make the lines soy sauce seeping through brown sugar. As the sauce rolls and collects sweet granules, imagine the mother I could have been. The way my hair could have framed my face or how I must have held you for the first and last times.
When it feels like you are replacing an untold story with every line you draw, slowly pour one cup of water over the curvature of my nose, the stripe of my lips, and my crows’ feet lines.
Stare at the drawing and imagine me, imagine holding my outstretched hand and praying through the air above the Pacific ocean, between here and Seoul, South Korea.
Gaze out your bedroom window at Las Vegas Boulevard and think of me.
Think of me while braising eggs in the kitchen. Do not forget to add the rice wine mirin.
When flies buzz through the open screen door, do not swat them away with the stalk of green onion, or run and shut your body out of the house.
I am still a home without a family.
Cut the green onions with scissors over the boiling pot of sauce. There should be steam, and its fragrance should fill your lungs before you turn off the burner.
You may feel the excruciating pressure of wanting to belong in the sweet and salty lines that seep, that fall, that mix into entropy—no more extended borders or edges.
When you think of me at midnight, my eyes are not just stars, they are constellations, and I have never forgotten you.
When you think of me while braising eggs in the kitchen, you are now a man deeply marked by lines. You are the eggshells cracked open, and the egg whites are all the secrets you have kept—except on this day, on your birthday. Now I am the egg whites, and you have always been the yolk, held by me.
Let one whole egg sit in your palm. Let the egg, stained by sauce, stain your love lines.
You are more than the product of my womb.
These braised eggs weigh like a promise between us.
About the Author
Sara Paye was born in Portland, OR. After graduating from Azusa Pacific University, she is now studying creative writing as an MFA candidate at Sierra Nevada University. Paye currently works as a behavior specialist and owns a small gift business in Las Vegas, NV.