Written by Cato

Edited by Rodlyn Mae-Banting

TW: in honor of the victims from the Atlanta Spa Shooting that occurred on March 16th, 2021

welcome, my friend,

to your appointment.

please follow me.

we will start with…

sage and jasmine?

they help with alertness!

wait, you have been alert – 

too alert – 

all this time.

instead, we will start with…

some good ol’ ginger.

it is good for treating emotions – 

ones that are riled up as you are.

i see that you are

as upset as a tsunami.

in a way, this was a tsunami:

Delaina Ashley Yaun,

Paul Andre Michels,

Xiaojie Tan / 谭小洁,

Daoyou Feng / 冯道友,

Soon-Chung Park / 박순정,

Hyun-Jung Kim / 김현정,

Sun-Cha Kim / 김순자,

Yong-Ae Yue / 유용애,

the names kept coming in waves,

and they could not even wave goodbye.

they splashed on the shore

over and over

until the news died down.

but you were still swept away,

lost at sea,

sinking, drowning…

why is it so hard to breathe?

oh, i left the diffuser on.

we can move onto

cinnamon and cloves.

all sweet and spicy and hot,

though i should be careful with my words.

we can describe the food we eat

with words like those,

but not for a person – like you,

someone they should not simply taste

for the intoxicating flavor.

they have been toxic –

so toxic that they have

darkened your eyes,

ruffled your hair,

wrinkled your forehead.

we can brighten a bit with

some tangy lemons.

you might be soured

but they will help with stress.

they say when life gives you lemons,

make lemonade –

but do they ever aid us?

we will end with

infused lavender.

it is best for sleep and anxiety –

two things you need to relieve.

there has always been a duality for you:

pushed up for the model minority

and considered advantageous

yet pushed back down onto your back

to behave into sexual submission.

do not worry:

you can rest peacefully here.

i hope you enjoyed your visit.

thank you so much for letting me talk to you.

please come again!


Watch: A personal video from the writer

Illustration by Ajunie Virk
Instagram: @ajunie.b.jones

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