Two Poems by Melanie Ho

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

Chicken Breasts in Ziplock Bags

My mother
marinates chicken
in ziplock bags

Two white breasts
swimming in
soy sauce and lemon grass
chili oil and sesame seeds
bean sprouts
bok choy
Genuine Brewed
Rice Vinegar
Heineken Beer & Soju & Sake
And the lady wearing her traditional
bamboo hat
the same hat
foreigners buy
as a souvenir
Her bent back
over fields of rice paddies
is a souvenir

Sometimes the old lady
is on street corners
selling rice cakes wrapped in
banana leaves
in 97° heat
And she gives me hope
sweat running down her neck,


Dear Brian,

dear brian,
I hope your wife married you to get citizenship

I hope you look at your arm and see your blue-green veins through your blue-green eyes

that pop out against

I bet you were praised for your pronunciation
of manga and anime and hiroshima

surrounded by other Brians in your
Japanese 101 class

spent too many hours memorizing the feeling of chopsticks between pointer finger and middle finger with a ring finger slid in

you were just Catherine’s way of rebelling against her parents

I could see you smile
as you looked at slanted vagina

maybe you liked her because
her pale
showed red
as easily as
your pale
showed red

but more so
you like her because
her black
shows so black
compared to
your blond
that shows so blond

you a fucking weaboo


Photo of Melanie Ho

Photo of Melanie Ho

Melanie Ho [filmmaker | writer] is currently a 3rd year undergraduate student at Princeton. She hopes to explore her identities through writing and searching online forums. She aims to center the stories of those who are often on the margins. You can catch her most nights thinking about fish sauce and her nonexistent love life.