• Project Said

Lotus, Lotus, Lotus

The first thing that pops

When I look in the mirror

Is how small my monolid eyes are.

As a child, I wanted them large

And blue

Sea blue, not a brown so dark it’s

Almost black.

My nose is round and flat

I thought it too big—

I also didn’t like my hair

All its stick straight glory and how

It was the same colour as every other

Chinese person I know.

Because wouldn’t it be nice

To have hair that’s wavy and blonde?

Because wouldn’t it be nice

To be white?


I’m not five years old anymore

That was a decade ago.

I found other things to hate about myself

My grades, my mental health

My body.

How I wasn’t like other girls and

How I didn’t fit in.

Because wouldn’t it be nice

To fit in?

Because wouldn’t it be nice

To be normal?


But lotuses come in many different forms

And we are all lotuses

Different colours, different kinds

We are all special

We all have our meaning

We are all beautiful.

Wouldn’t it be nice

To see the world as a river of flowers?

I still don’t know how.


Lotus, Lotus, Lotus by Rachel Chiu-yi Ngai - Hong Kong/Arkansas, U.S.

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