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Recording of Ma 21/06/2020

Why don’t you ever write about me? I’m full of stories. Sad ones. Things you can’t imagine. Poh poh made me go to an all-girls convent school in Yangon with nasty khway mas who ganged up on me for being Chinese and chubby. Excluded me. Pinned me down, sat on my chest, called me 

Bo kyee. 
Means you are fat you can’t run you can’t do anything. 
Bo kyee. All you do is eat. Useless. Bo kyee. 
I still remember those bully girls!

I had good times too. We had little four wheel Mazda that could take us anywhere. One day your uncle hotwired it and mowed down the street. Dirt and smoke in the air. All of us laughing. Gong gong yelled so loud afterwards: ‘ZA ZHONG!’

That means Bogan. Mixed-breed, y’know? Because your mum is like a bitch who sleeps with everyone

za zhong!

But most of the time we rode the Mazda as a family, Poh poh in the front seat. Peaceful. We drove to Karaweik Hotel. Wah, a beautiful place! Karaweik is a palace so strange it seems to only exist in your mind. Shaped like a phoenix, glowing, gliding on the water. Green roof, gold swimming body. We queued up for ice cream on the deck and it was like the soft cones, like the ones you buy at Maccas. Soft, soft. Dripped all over your lips, so delicious. 

My dad said: ‘You don’t have to go overseas to have this luxury. We can have it here. 

The whole world is here.’



This poem is part of a suite of poems titled Scum.

Go to Claire Cao's profile to read more poems