Shame tastes like wine. It permeates,
turning the flesh of the fruit into a sour bitterness—
that oxidizes in the cells
and travels through the heart,
making its way to the brain and creating
I see my mother's redemption in a single grain of rice,
deep olive hands rub the rice together,
starch-rich, milky white waters.
I hold my mother's redemption in my mouth,
it tastes of salt water, and burns my vicious tongue,
as she asks me: Mashisaeyo, is it delicious?
Using language to help navigate her Korean-American identity, Samantha Kim Rogers received her MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction from California State University Fresno, and her BA in Creative Writing: Fiction from Arizona State University. She was the 2016 Fiction Fellow at Fishtrap: Writing and the West, and former Senior Associate Fiction Editor for The Normal School: A Literary Magazine. Her work has previously appeared in The San Joaquin Review and Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets.