Please ask your mother one more time to drop the warrant for my arrest.

— Jennifer Tseng

I’m fifteen.
In a year
Someone will climb through my window & kiss
Every soft part of me.
Nights, I’ll lie in the dark listening.
Jays will sing in the white star jasmine, sparrows will sing in the Valencia tree & I’ll wait
Awake for the knock on the glass
That will change everything.
But on the day I receive your letter,
I’m fifteen.
I like to run.
I like to speak French.
I like to lie on the sand in the sun.
These are things I’d rather do.
You are living alone
In a strange place
Writing to me.
You have no one else.
You say please, something you never say in real life,
Something you never say
Outside your letters.
I’m inside your letters.
The sentence is a plea
& a command. Although
You are desperate,
You are still my father.
You say one more time as if
I’ve already tried & have failed.
I’ve forgotten what I did or didn’t do.
I can’t remember fifteen.
I remember sixteen.
Those kisses arrest every moment of my experience
In a body that eats & cries out & has memories & warrants your attention.
Does it matter now, if I asked her?
It’s over. I’m asking you
One more time, to drop it.
I promise you won’t go to jail.
You can visit any time
Of the year. 请进, 请坐.
Come in, sit down.
Have some peanuts.
Have some tea. Look,
Your letters are on the table,
Your photos, in the album
For us to admire.
See? We’re talking.
Say anything you want.
There’s nothing to fear.
No one will know
You’re here.

Read more from Issue No. 8 or share on Twitter.