Love Letter from Yǎ Wēi Pó-Po

just then I
went to clean your room,
sweep the floor.

now listen –

these hand that
smell of garlic and
look like maps
pull so tight
the seam of all creation
to be close to you.

after all,
you are mine – we are

call me, okay? even if
you say nothing, you just breathe
quiet by the receiver,
I hold your voice to my ear –

I hear you, maybe
you hear me too but
do not understand.

please do not worry, bǎo-bèi.
I know the trip cost so much,
across a long universe
with that load on your shoulders,
but look, I already buy
you your ticket home –

ai shh-ya, be quiet.
you make me smile, silly child.
put away your coin.

I already buy
you your ticket home.

雅威 (Yǎ Wēi)
A translation of Yahweh common with Chinese Catholics; literally: “ethereal authority”

婆婆 (pó-po)
Matron, grandmother, mother-in-law

寶貝 (bǎo-bèi)
Precious, treasure, darling

Created by: Ophelia Hu Kinney
About the author: Ophelia Hu Kinney is a second-generation Chinese American living in Maine with her wife. She is the daughter of circumstantial pragmatists and the sister of a hopeful romantic. Her work has appeared in The Common and HESA Inprint, and under a pseudonym, she blogs with her wife about LGBTQ Christian life and identity. Contact her at opheliahukinney(at) if you’d like to read their blog.

Image by: Ellie Yang Camp
About the artist: Ellie is a professional calligrapher based in Mountain View, California whose first meal in heaven will be the perfect bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup.

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