The triangle of a fish head cut open along the center seam, splayed like a butterfly, blanketed by pickled peppers, Chinese red. Stinky tofu sold by a homely granny in a leaf-littered alley, fried in thrice-used oil, wrinkled and laced with charred edges, dripping sauce. An egg lathered by ash and salt, swaddled in rice husks, laid in the shadows to rot, until the white grows warm amber, the yolk midnight-green, shimmering like the eyes of a dragonfly. Standing up, reaching with the tip of chopsticks, sweating in the sultry summer night, the neon signs of street market flashing and flickering, spilling rainbows on the wobbly wooden tables peppered on sidewalk. An arm wrapped around a set of soft shoulders, a wine-wetted whisper to a familiar ear, a celebration, a goodbye. A relentless reminder, memory, long lost. Skipping up the stairs, two, three, four steps at a time, breath white as the bustling snow, home.
image: Eugene Production