A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art


white newspaper on green palm tree



We pretend to be ethnic—
absurd reminiscences
of a world we’ve never known.
We drape ourselves in
our mother’s hanfu,
fold thin paper into
ornate hand-held fans
as the world looks on at us,
We cling to difference,
paint ourselves with color,
when really we long for
what we’ve never truly
grasped, the aching heat
our mother fled in search
of a space to breathe.
We mourn her maiden name,
mourn the bird-like words
of a silver-toned language
we hardly understand.
We drift between ideas,
between realities, caught in
an eternal limbo where
“you don’t look white”
mingles with
“you’re not really Asian”
until our Ah-Ma’s final snub
casts us out.
Waiguoren, she brands us.



I’m Not Hungry

I watch as the glistening dumplings
t u m b l e
into the gaping mouth of the trash can.
Sweet-and-sour sauce sprays
stone-grey plastic. The scent is
putrid, mouthwatering decadence
by sour milk and
florid peaches and
sopping spitballs.
Where’s your lunch, asks
the girl with the swinging pigtails.
I’m not hungry, I reply
to the empty table.
What I don’t say
is that I saw the way
her nose wrinkled at the
smell of sesame oil and
fried cabbage, the way
her sympathy and revulsion
her beautiful, pale
American face.
What I don’t say
is that my mother and
my country and
our broken promises
lie in that trash can,

About the Author

Anna Kiesewetter is a high school junior from Issaquah, Washington. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards and is published or forthcoming in the Blue Marble Review, the Trouvaille Review, Scribere Magazine, Skipping Stones Literary Magazine, the Lumiere Review, and Kalopsia Literary Journal, among other magazines. As a biracial Asian-American, she enjoys delving deeper into the nooks and crannies of her identity through writing.

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This entry was posted on September 5, 2020 by in Creative Nonfiction, Poetry and tagged , .
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