Man Yi is a fading phantom.
Maeve remains solidly planted in the middle of the continent.
Maeve knows how to operate chopsticks
only because her roundeye parents taught her
right after she learned to use fork and spoon.
Maybe someday, she’ll dye her hair her mother’s shade of red.
Maybe someday, she’ll become a Potato King.
Maeve is not yet trendy.
Maeve is not pan-Asian cuisine.
She does not provide a delightful ginger-and-soy flavor profile upon the tongue.
Maeve is not the newest model from Toyota.
Maeve is not Japanese, but gaijin.
Maeve is not gwei lo.
Maeve does not smell of kimchi, except when she eats kimchi.
I do not think Maeve would like kimchi.
Do you remember Manila’s humidity and millions?
Maeve does not.
Maeve comes from a place.
Maeve lives in a place.
They are not the same place.
You don’t live where you came from, either,
No matter how you struggle to fit inside.