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abecedarian for white rabbit candy


abecedarian for white rabbit candy


amalgamate velvety cream with vanilla and you will get magic.

back in my singapore motherland we called it 大白兔奶糖,

candied ivory and softest of yellow undertones. in pīnyīn that is to say

dà bái tù nǎi táng—the nostalgic white rabbit candy. in truth, i say

each one is a testament to time, its stories fragmenting, like how i

feel the thinnest of translucent rice paper flaking on my fingertips.

generations ago my ancestors from china brought white rabbit candy

halfway down the world, onto a dot not quite visible, settling on an

independent island—island nation—nation of merlion children.

jubilee bridge paves jubilee walk for motherland's golden jubilee;

kowtow to her fissures borne of lightning. watch as she breathes

life into her merlion children, weeping their renewal once more.

melt seven white rabbit candies and you get a cup of milk, but

not quite the real kind like the slogan claims. for it is runny syrup

overflowing—the taste of ‘tóng nián’ childhood, and all the

previous nameless figures who once had coated lips of sugar,

quixotically believing in wind-whispered, water-wished promises.

reality reminds me, remember that you too, are a merlion child.

see, when i immigrated, i too looked for white rabbit candy. yet the

tootsie roll was america’s gift to me, chewy chocolate with an

unsubtle, undesirable, artificial fruit taste foreign to my tongue.

vacantly, i unwrap and chew, dissolving lingering tastes of white rabbit candy.

worn, i let them butcher my chinese name, pain radiating in my

xiphoid, blunt chest trauma from erasure of myself and at night i repeat

yǔ xuān, third-tone first-tone, warmth in speech. homesick, i weep for

zygotes of unborn merlion children asleep in my motherland’s womb.



once he was a cygnet. lost, searching 

hopeless, he wished he could show—all of 

his worth to those who doubted him. 

he pleads. 

please look at me—not for what i am now 

i am but a molted mix of dull, dusky gray down and feathers 

but look at me, within me, to see what i can become. 

he remembers. 

how they called him the ugly duckling, incapable of being loved 

              so he left them because—no one wants me—he said—i do not belong tiny, delicate,

              and frail, he stumbled up to the edge of the vast world. 

i know that i am far from graceful and i know 

that i am not majestic yet; a far cry from tranquil white plumage 

but always remember that, when i grow up—realize myself 

soon winter came and he glanced up at the flock of beautiful white birds creamy white

              streaks, pearls of birds, against the endless blue sky 

                            how i wish i was like them—he whispered to himself—what a dream it would be. 


even though you laughed and mocked me, and all those times 

you called me ugly—know that i too, will be full of charm 

and strength and beauty; all the things you wished you were. 

spring blossomed; she sprang to life. he did not believe it, but so did he elegantly, gracefully, a dream

              looked back at him from the glistening waters the swans, with their raised necks and throaty

              rumbles, they welcomed him. 

now, he is a swan. found, discovered, 

hopeful, he flies with his flock—soaring 

above the edge of the vast world.

ISABEL GAN is a junior based in Southern California. She is an avid reader of literary and historical fiction and loves to experiment with different genres of writing, although she always finds a way back to prose and creative nonfiction. When not wondering how to finish the dozens of pieces she's started, she's playing the piano, looking up random facts and new words, or straining her eyes with her Kindle at 2 AM. 

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