Matt Hsu

32 lemons

Ama requests (一) help
to collect fruit from the
tree (二) outside. She

hands me a green garbage
(三) bag and points to where
I need to stand (四). Dew

drops, sharp scent (五),
eight a.m. wind (六) on
bare (七) arms, mud

clawing at our (八) torn
tennis shoes. They come
in (九) clusters of two or

three or six, sprouting
leaves (十) like tufts of
hair. Ama circles (十一)

the tree, crouching (十
二) like a woman who
isn’t seventy-seven,

checkered (十三) flannel
picking up chunks of
(十四) dirt. I’m (十五)

picking (十六) the big
(十七) ones, she says,
mixing Chinese (十八)

adjective with English
verb (十九). What can
I (二十) see, what can

I hear—nothing, but
(二十一) ripe yellow
skin, spare (二十二)

zest, a ladybug (二十
三) nibbling brown
tip, nothing (二十四)

but footstep squish
Ama marveling (二十
五) at the size of the

citrus. [Remember:
too brown (二十六)
is better than too

green (二十七)]. When
Ama is finished (二十
八), she claps my

shoulder (二十九) and
steers me inside. She
doesn’t (三十) want any,

the harvest is a Christmas
gift for my family (三十
一), she insists, then begins

fixing herself a plate of
leftover beef and cabbage
in the kitchen (三十二).

"To My Future Nephew II" by Daniel Boyko

Matt Hsu is a student from San Francisco, California. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and he’s published or forthcoming in The B’K, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Sine Theta Magazine, and Paddler Press. Currently, he's querying his first novel: a twisty, thriller-mystery about a crafty assassin. You can find him on Twitter at @MattHsu19 or at his personal website matthsu156538437.wordpress.com.