Exhibits from the Digital Age
ART BY MATILDA PENG
My grandma texts me on February 3rd:
What ever is available please take that and eat.
Don’t be in empty stomach.
I also wish to feed you Lot Take and care
Note to self: Don’t be in empty stomach;
live inside a body that is always full.
I skip lunch today anyway.
dum dum red heart emoji snapchats
me a photo captioned:
My mom has flowers on the table
and they smell so good
You should get me flowers more often
I giggle and search for florists in Somerville and Medford,
landing on Nellie’s Wildflowers. There, I gather a bouquet
of Black-eyed Susans, the sun in my hands.
On the TV,
Bomman and Bellie
raise orphan elephants like their own
children in the state of Tamil Nadu; Bellie
is afraid of tigers / her first husband was ripped
apart, turned inside out from belly to blood
to nothing. When Bellie lost her daughter,
ammu wiped her tears—
did you know an elephant’s trunk doubles as a handkerchief?
Bomman says elephants
and Gods are the same.
(I don’t believe in a God)
Neya pappa – what are you up to?
… Can you talk? Or very busy?
I’m so sorry mama! I missed this,
I’m doing good! Went to party
last night :))
(sometimes I worry I am little
more than an appendage.
I cling to the party’s corners.
I miss home.)
2012 – 2015
I used to carve moons into my arms and smash my head against my neon walls
so many times craters framed my forehead; I used a purple digital watch
to time how long I could stand the pain. The longer, the better.
My grandma texts to say:
Very nice to see your message.
I know you are so busy.
No hurry to reply to the message.
When ever you are free send.
Take care of your health. Eat well.
I order dinner from Sugar & Spice today.
I try and live inside a body that is full