How to find the right words in another tongue

Illustrations by Carmen Johns

The first lies I told were in Cantonese. Like when I hit my brother and said I didn’t. Or when I peed my pants at naptime and quietly slipped off the queen-sized mattress our entire family shared. I stuffed my soiled bottoms into the middle of the hamper and put on dirty underwear and pants I fished out of the same pile. I pretended to sleep waiting for my mom to wake me up so I could bargain my obedient napping to watch more TV. I lied again when I first learned about April Fools’ day in kindergarten. My uncle…

Amy Lam

Writer & editor based in Portland, Oregon //

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