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  • Jenny Wong

Jeannie's Guide to Wonton Girls | Jenny Wong

Press love and scallions

into chubby balls of pink flesh

with dark bits

of shitake mushroom eyes,

give a tiny shrimp,

fetal-shaped, to hold (optional).

Swaddle in floured wrappers,

pinch mouths closed,

seal with an egg-white gloss.

Let them rest in a pot. Add water.

Note: skins will wrinkle under a rolling boil.

Scry for doneness between steam and salt.

Watch them hold their secrets,

as tight lipped as Singapore chefs

tossed into unfamiliar kitchens.

Wait for bodies to surface


in their individual shrouds.

From somewhere, maybe over the counter,

overhear a disgruntled customer ask

Is that all?

Skim little dumplings into a bowl,

bury in hot broth

and onion petal garnish.

Whisper of dreams beyond kitchen walls,

send them out steaming

before the doors swing closed again.


Jenny Wong is a writer, traveller, and occasional business analyst.  She resides in the foothills of Alberta, Canada and tweets @jenwithwords.  Lately, her writings have been more about indoor things, but she still dreams about wandering the streets of Lisbon, sampling new tastes in Singapore hawker centres, and conversing with ghosts in Parisian cemeteries.  Recent publications include Atlas & Alice, Whale Road Review, Lost Balloon, Ellipsis Zine and perhappened mag.

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