三叠字—Mandarin Characters Stacked Up
ART BY HELENA HU
鑫: Three golds stacked, two on the bottom and one on the top, symbolizing prosperity
Full of money and a prosperous future. I bet that’s why you worked so hard. You always left
early in the morning, returned late, and sometimes did not return. You must have thought
you were working toward a shared prosperity, not knowing how sudden your departure would be.
晶: Three suns stacked, two on the bottom and one on the top, symbolizing crystal brilliance
—yet who knows if three suns really equal a bright future? If only I knew you were in imminent darkness,
I would not have let you go. I would tape you down to the doctor’s office, the hospital’s bed,
where the sun cannot find you, and the time I spent in your arms as you petted me to sleep.
品: Three mouths stacked, two on the bottom and one on the top, symbolizing taste and quality
The disaster was foreshadowed, but I could no longer taste its danger. I thought this was
one of your regular tricks, that you would recover in no time. But really, you had no time.
森: Three trees stacked, two on the bottom and one on the top, symbolizing a forest
Things were torn apart as always, I could not keep them in accordance. You promised me
an open studio in the middle of the garden where I could paint, draw, photograph.
But the trees you planted have withered, and you have not fulfilled your promise.
淼: Three waters stacked, two on the bottom and one on the top, symbolizing infinite flood
The rain dazzled my eyes and changed my perception like I had entered a kaleidoscope.
You must have worked extremely hard for Lao Tian Ye to bring that rain across the Pacific Ocean
just to let me know that you were gone and on your way.
焱: Three fires stacked, two on the bottom and one on the top, symbolizing blaze, cracking of flames
People cried and screamed everywhere. Some of them I did not really know. I was wondering
how long it would take to burn a person to ashes when they wheeled you into the crematory.
Then I started crying and screaming too, like someone flipped a switch on me.
众: Three persons stacked, two on the bottom and one on the top, symbolizing a crowd
I have lost all senses, stunned and blunted. Now there is one less in this family of three.
It’s only you and your mother, and it’s only you and your mother. People kept saying
the same thing to me like I could not count how many three minus one is.
磊: Three stones stacked, two on the bottom and one on the top. This is your name
And finally, I have to get to you, your name. Now there is no narrow escape.