It Took Courage For My Disowned Mother To RSVP Yes To Uncle’s Wedding

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September 23, 2022 by The Citron Review

by Eliot Li


Mother bounces around to “The Humpty Dance,” throws punches at the air in front of Uncle. He kneels, while she ties a dollar around the bridge of his glasses for good fortune. Didn’t know we had so many aunts, clapping along in embroidered dresses and tight Chinatown perms.

Priscilla and I foxtrot across the dance floor, my hand on her lower back. Priscilla, my cousin I’d never met before, whose smile ripples under black Asian bangs. On the balcony, we talk forever.

Driving home, Mother slumps in her seat. “My fuckin’ family,” she says. “We ain’t ever seeing them again.”


Eliot Li lives in California. His work appears or is forthcoming in CRAFT, SmokeLong Quarterly, Pithead Chapel, Maudlin House, Trampset, Fractured Lit, and elsewhere. He’s on Twitter @EliotLi2.





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