Two highways run like
cracks through our city

soaked with pickup trucks
crowding like fish in dark channels.

On Saturdays, my mother would stay
home, load soy-sauce-
soaked barbecue onto paper plates and
squeeze oranges
fresh to their peels,

tasting in them a city across the ocean,
thinking her children could not speak Taiwanese
but she could still pour it on our tongues.

On Saturdays, she would
rub an eyeful and a half of salt
into mashed avocado and hand me
cracked pits to throw
into the backyard.

I would roll my eyes and tell her
Nothing will grow from these, but I
tossed the pits anyway and watched them
rub into the summer dirt.

My brother and I run like
cracks through our mother

My mother is a mirror I
She is the fried egg my brother
soaked with ketchup until the taste of
Taipei summers drowned.

She is the the salt in her eyes
on every night she worked late,
squeezing her way down a
soaked highway toward home,
looking through the rearview mirror

across the ocean, at a summer of
crowded darkness,
flailing with sirens and night market fish,
stripped of
pickup trucks and sleeping pills.

And I have to wonder, on Saturdays
as I rolled my eyes at her
cracked avocado pits,
whether my mother asked herself
if it were possible for anything to take
root in foreign soil.