If you look at old photographs of my mom, you’d see her eyes were different. Her mother urged her to cut them open with the slip of a surgeon’s knife. She thought, So that American men may be able to see them. And I don’t ask her, but sometimes, I wonder if mom felt like her new eyes weren’t “windows to the soul” anymore. That when men looked at her, they saw nothing, which is to say they only saw themselves. People make poor mirrors. I have this dream where mom is stuck in a life-sized dollhouse. She stands in front of its big bay windows and pulls the shutters down over and over again.

And, what can I do? But stare at old photos and cut holes

where our eyes

should be.

Mom and me at Knott’s Berry Farm

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