The headphones settle heavily
against my ears
pressing into the top of my head
how are y’all today?
my hand jerks as the plastic snaplock
splinters under my fingers
flip open the lid to reveal
a slice of chocolate tiramisu beaded
what did y’all eat today?
here, I’ll show you
wow, there’s so many different dishes, I’m
don’t worry, we’ll take you to the restaurant when you
(puts a bite of vanilla cake and chestnut filling into her mouth)
The chestnut cake design this year is prettier than last year.
I would’ve gotten chestnut if Sheng Kee had it, but I just got chocolate.
is it good though?
a fork sink it
after layer and eat
sorry I can’t be there today.
what are you talking about, your education
is more important
cocoa powder dust
(camera gets lost going from hand to hand)
in the silence that follows
his slow nod struggling lips
his muscles hanging at the edge
of his control
I smile wide
wide so that my tears
into the tiramisu in my throat
something about the weather
and Mondays and what I ate today and the club meeting I came back from
everything I did while they
(camera moves away from Grandpa)
how were classes today?
at the crater carve out
school must be busy, right?
yeah very busy
they’re saying something
about going shopping
and getting a late delivery from the restaurant and listen
their voices sound so
but I am
50 fucking miles away
well, we’re glad you called but
get back to your work
no, no it’s fine
don’t you have finals next week, you should
I guess I should
Grandpa, happy birthday! Bye, everyone!
(they vanish and now it is just my face in the Facetime screen, red
rimming the eyes)
the last bite is so much cocoa that it is bitter
swallow anyway quit the app toss the box play
music loud enough to shake tears back into its craters
and get back to work