©2020 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Submerged” by Amelia Ao

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

I Remember

Ingrid Ren

Winter 2019

 

Best of the Net 2019 Nomination

I remember doing the buttons on my dress shirt for my first job

I remember telling my father I loved him over and over during

one car ride to school in the second grade

I remember crying at the thought that I would die at age one

hundred and my brother trying to comfort me by telling me I

still had ninety-four years left to live

I remember getting my first period in the worst smelling

bathroom of my school and calling my mother calling my father

who drove over and averted his eyes when handing me six pads

hastily wrapped in a plastic bag

I remember wanting to become a translator between English,

French, and Mandarin

I remember trying to choke down tornadoes of laughter in class,

my eyes tearing up while my lips were shoved shut, smiling

I remember an auditorium of people clapping for my brother’s

achievements and people coming up to me to praise him

I remember finishing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the

bathroom at two am because that was the only room with a

locking door and my parents kept trying to turn off the light in

my room

I remember tasting another girl’s saliva for the first time and

having an epiphany. I remember that girls kiss better

I remember when classmates would tell me that Japanese,

Korean, and Chinese were the same. I remember when we got

to the age where we talked circles around race, no longer able to

talk about it at all

I remember revisiting my childhood home, knocking on the

door, and after an absence of an answer, pushing the unlocked

door open. I remember seeing carpet where hardwood floor

should have been

I remember packing boxes excitedly and packing boxes

resentfully

I remember the weight of stars on my skin at an outdoor concert

and feeling like my soul was held in the cupped hands of the

music

I remember the eyelashes of the people I’ve kissed

I remember the warm skin of another body in my bed. I

remember asking myself what I was doing with my hands

I remember wolf whistles thrown out windows, mixed with the

exhaust of cars

I remember the vulnerability of wearing tights

I remember my father finding the bi flag I got at Pride and asking

me which country it was for. I remember trying not to laugh or

cry

As of the Winter 2019 publication of this piece, Ingrid Ren was a high school graduate taking a gap year with

AmeriCorps NCCC before college. She "Asian squats" shamelessly and is on an endless search for the best sushi.