Sometimes, I only want to eat the skin.

By Nina Mingya Powles
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Essays

Fearing the fruit cutting expectations of Korean mother-in-laws

Essays

When they called me spoiled, they meant that I was a rotten fruit, left out to waste in the humidity, sullied by forces beyond their control.

Essays

The kumquat’s sweetness was a disguise, and once it was disrobed in your mouth, the meat inside was sour enough to make your mouth buck, to wring your tongue of its language.

Essays

Who would keep the tree living, years after my grandparents have passed?

Essays

As a historian and musician, Julian Saporiti has toured past and present sites of migrant detention. He calls his project No-No Boy.

Essays

John Okada deserves credit for framing his book around the character of a resister—but he missed the opportunity to portray the depth and breadth of principled protest by incarcerated Japanese Americans.

Essays

In 2019, No-No Boy is bigger than it’s ever been. But the book that was saved was always haunted by the books that were lost.

Essays

it was such a big no-no that I had this impression of dialects 方方言言 being like swear words, or haram

We are becoming hardened. I sense a hardness in the so-called liberal circles, artist circles, activist circles.

Essays

The questions of who can eat what, and where, and with whom, are facts of Malaysian life, negotiated daily and often subconsciously.

Essays

Sometimes, I only want to eat the skin.

Essays

What a royal feeling to look into that bag and imagine something new on my tongue on a day like that.

Essays

I wondered how many cherries babies could eat, and what they might think of the taste, or if they just know that the sugar tasted good.

Essays

Pauline Park, Myles Markham, and Xoài Pham on the queer historical figures across Asia that have inspired in them a sense of belonging

Essays

Earlier this year, Penguin released a competing edition of John Okada’s 1957 novel No-No Boy, claiming that it was in the public domain. They didn’t grasp how the history of the novel’s publication is as important as the novel.

Poetry

when i was six, / i scooped prayer into my palms, sipped / jesus’ sweat out of a soju bottle ten / years after. the prayer screamed / under my skin

Poetry

Don’t you know my face? Didn’t you / break it open? Being beautiful, it’s no crime.

Essays

This involves modulating my voice and accent so that I sound more Malay. It’s like having to work for my right to eat there.

having grown up using utensils she will never understand the comfort it brings: someone forming little mounds of rice that are pushed by the thumb into your mouth

Poetry

America swallowed my parents / spit out skeletons / Waleed became Bill / the Clintons stretched / their skinny vowels / over my father’s father’s father’s name

Essays

Fearing the fruit cutting expectations of Korean mother-in-laws

Essays

Sometimes, I only want to eat the skin.

Essays

When they called me spoiled, they meant that I was a rotten fruit, left out to waste in the humidity, sullied by forces beyond their control.

Essays

What a royal feeling to look into that bag and imagine something new on my tongue on a day like that.

Essays

The kumquat’s sweetness was a disguise, and once it was disrobed in your mouth, the meat inside was sour enough to make your mouth buck, to wring your tongue of its language.

Essays

I wondered how many cherries babies could eat, and what they might think of the taste, or if they just know that the sugar tasted good.

Essays

Who would keep the tree living, years after my grandparents have passed?

Essays

Pauline Park, Myles Markham, and Xoài Pham on the queer historical figures across Asia that have inspired in them a sense of belonging

Essays

As a historian and musician, Julian Saporiti has toured past and present sites of migrant detention. He calls his project No-No Boy.

Essays

Earlier this year, Penguin released a competing edition of John Okada’s 1957 novel No-No Boy, claiming that it was in the public domain. They didn’t grasp how the history of the novel’s publication is as important as the novel.

Essays

John Okada deserves credit for framing his book around the character of a resister—but he missed the opportunity to portray the depth and breadth of principled protest by incarcerated Japanese Americans.

Poetry

when i was six, / i scooped prayer into my palms, sipped / jesus’ sweat out of a soju bottle ten / years after. the prayer screamed / under my skin

Essays

In 2019, No-No Boy is bigger than it’s ever been. But the book that was saved was always haunted by the books that were lost.

Poetry

Don’t you know my face? Didn’t you / break it open? Being beautiful, it’s no crime.

Essays

it was such a big no-no that I had this impression of dialects 方方言言 being like swear words, or haram

Essays

This involves modulating my voice and accent so that I sound more Malay. It’s like having to work for my right to eat there.

We are becoming hardened. I sense a hardness in the so-called liberal circles, artist circles, activist circles.

having grown up using utensils she will never understand the comfort it brings: someone forming little mounds of rice that are pushed by the thumb into your mouth

Essays

The questions of who can eat what, and where, and with whom, are facts of Malaysian life, negotiated daily and often subconsciously.

Poetry

America swallowed my parents / spit out skeletons / Waleed became Bill / the Clintons stretched / their skinny vowels / over my father’s father’s father’s name