hypothesis on acceptance: grandmother

by Jessica M., 17

I’m starting to forget
The way my grandmother smiles
The deep crevices of
Imprinted on her forehead
The rich scent of her
Homemade dumplings
The way the steam escaped
The kitchen and
Crept into the living room
A scent that I welcomed
The sound of her laughter
At the dinner table
A bright bell ringing
What I remember are
The stares
The grimaces
Of girls with
Glistening blonde hair and
The bluest eyes
Whose grandmothers spoke
Meticulous English
Without the stain of an accent
When they pulled their noses
High into the air
At the sight of my grandmother’s dumplings
I was naked
And they dressed me up
In their clothes
Gave me a blonde wig
Gave me a new grandmother
Gave me burning shame
I called it a rebirth
When it was really
A death.

Belmont, California