Often I have knelt beside her as she lay on the white leather sofa,
repeating to herself, Maybe one day I die soon. All my life, I’ve heard this

and watched her continue living. She is here now, with a cleaver,
tenderizing meat. She squats on the kitchen floor and pounds the flesh.

Today she needs my help, points me to the stone mortar.
Heaviness is how she crushes garlic and lemongrass into paste,