Not Henry Miller but Mother

by Cathy Park Hong

Cathy Park Hong

Passion is the letter "p." A jeweled pear, another guernica shattering
our souls, a giant liced with lilliputians. Passion fell flat on its face when
a date used too much tongue. Passion ran, shotput into the air past the
scoreboard, past the empty lots where children brawled silently, past the
manicured lawns of Silicon Valley's royalty and past my sweaty,
consumptive grasp. Following the flock, I traveled to Europe and scaled
the Catalan steps to view a landscape of stone. It was cold, I left early.
Later in Paris, I searched for passion in the vessel of a French man and
only found a janitor who cleaned the toilets of Notre Dame and
whispered"I have many, many faults.
She was the one who hoarded passion. Mother, who shaved my head
when I was three, who dieted on tears and Maalox, who shouted in
hyena rage and one minute later, cradled my face and whispered a song
in my ear, while I watched the clock ahead of me, ticking.

Last updated December 12, 2022