Every Sunday I chop vegetables on our wooden
cutting board. I make couscous in the rice cooker
you gave me for Christmas three years ago, I brown
sausages in the pan we’ve scorched. The sausages
are pre-cooked in the package but you like them
to have brown marks so you know the meat is okay,
recovering vegetarian. I whisk eggs and pour
them into the cast iron to make frittata, place each slice
in a baggie so you can eat it on the train. Two hours
of sweat and onion tears and I stack tupperware
in the fridge, ready for the week. My roommate comes
in and says you are such a good female. And I say huh.
He says that’s good right? female? better than woman?
I say, I think you mean I am such a good partner.
I remember in China each of the American boys
I worked with would bring me their shirts when they ripped
or popped a button. I would bring out my sewing
kit and mend each hole. I liked to see them wearing
the shirts later, could see my seams, feel important.
The Chinese teacher watched me, squatting in a chair
meant for kindergartners, squinting to pull a thread
through the needle, said you are such a good woman!
I stood to drop the needle down the sink. Pulled at the broken
seam, letting each thread’s pop shake the room. Placed
the tattered cloth at her feet and the loose buttons
into her hand. But no, I would just smile and say friend.
I am such a good friend.

Megan Waring is a poet, playwright and fiber artist who currently resides
in Boston. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech and is
currently earning her MFA in poetry from University of Massachusetts
Boston. In between degrees, she worked in education and non-profits in
China and California. She is the honored recipient of Virginia Tech’s
Literary Award in 2010 and her work is forthcoming or published in *Nailed
Magazine,* Salamander, The Legendary, Pulp Literature
, and Germ Magazine,
among others. Her second co-authored play, Archer and the Yeti, is being
produced by Greene Room Productions in October 2019.