when the character dies because i murdered it | Teen Ink

when the character dies because i murdered it

July 5, 2022
By Jackie_Huang PLATINUM, Scarsdale, New York
Jackie_Huang PLATINUM, Scarsdale, New York
20 articles 37 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Everything happens for a reason

some days I forget how to write my name

funny, you say, 

but it’s not funny because

isn’t it all of me?

fingers hovering

maybe it’s the line, or potentially the rare curve

i remember the characters, i cannot capture them

they long feel, a long time forgotten

slick its throat

bend and break the bones

chop the word into separate strokes

until i almost laugh when i see my work

“we need to teach you how to write properly” my dad crosses a shaky finger 

balanced along my dirty sea of black ink

might as well say it’s beautiful

gives me a little more reason

to think its ok, better than my baby brother

at the very least, there just wasn’t enough time

thats why i forgot the extra stroke under 黄 (huáng)

i knew it,

i just forgot

simply put, i want to see my craft,

beaming, dancing: imagine

it alive and breathing

in and out


it is dead.

my aunt comes to carry the corpse

suppose it lived a long life

she has writing of beauty, honey, and strawberry jam

strokes curve back like a feather

little ones are dewdrops

this is the moment i begin to question:

is it the slight dent in my paper

the abrasion on my right nail

my impaired vision

should i use another pen or workout my fingers


something twitches

twists and turns, inside her protruding veins

around bony fingers grasping my plastic writing device

underneath loose skin

it is the writing muscle

i watch myself quiver, quake under its presence



i sense the flesh of her ingrained memory

equations harvesting the steps to every character

childhood desks in chinese memory

labored to the demands of her teacher

the writing muscle ages

pulses like a living organ

that grows and strengthens

since she began school

can you believe it

when i say i don't have the writing muscle

my hand is mindless

jumbled in elementary alphabet – The pinyin

wrong stroke order

meaningless, lopsided characters

no structured schooling – only in english

i don’t know chinese, china

sorry to my fake beijing

sorry to my fake 15 years

sorry to my fake chinese

sorry to my ugliness

sorry to my “i don't know” when you ask me how to write: “warmth”, “anger” or “toothpaste” because all i do is type

i murder the characters,

my heritage,

in times new roman

The author's comments:

黄 (huáng): My Surname

Also - I still think chinese is hard

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