In the market, the chickens, dead and bald, are lying on the stalls: plucked bare, wings shrunken by the boiling water. All lifting upwards to the sky, the chicken legs look like the legs of young girls: lean, apart, bikini-waxed. Together they form lines of sleep-dancing Rockettes.
Perhaps that is why the Chinese call prostitutes chickens?
Or any woman who is being, well, too inviting.
Anyway, take one home and clean her well. Hose her until all the grease of other men who have touched her dissolves. Turn on the stove and only put her in the moment the hot water starts bubbling. Do it fast, so she doesn’t see what is lurking beneath the steam. Then ice her well for tighter, unwrinkled skin. Get a sharp cleaver and butcher her quick. Bones pink with undried blood, she is as smooth as a virgin’s thigh.
The staple is not rice, but noodles. Noodle is the antonym of penis. Noodles soften when they enter the water, while penises harden when they taste the wetness. Noodles absorb liquid like tree roots, thirsty to expand; penises induce moisture the way dragonflies call to the rain. Most importantly, women cook noodles, but penises cook women.
It’s important to slurp loudly. Otherwise, it will be rude. “It means that you are not enjoying it.”
Wasn’t it what you told your girlfriend last night when you pulled her hair? Strands of coiled hair fell onto the bed. However, you did like how she wiggled.
3. Pickled Wine
Enshrined in the large glass jar are: a floating flock of Goji to color the rice wine, an entire corpse of ginseng that is older than your daughter, slices of velvet antler (authentic from male spotted deer because everyone knows wapiti horns are cheap decorations), and a tiger’s penis—the stronger you harvest, the stronger yours becomes. Seal the jar and let time and appetite pickle the ingredients. When the liquid turns from teeth-yellow to orange like your eye whites bloodshot with thirst, it is ready to feast. Flies and mosquitoes are hovering around the neck, a passionate war dance. One shot only in a day, three if it is a special occasion. Take a sip and you can feel the fire submitting to you, traveling down to the south of your body to be wielded.
Use translucent jars only. The display itself is great entertainment.
When you finish the meal, flush all the food waste into the toilet. The ashes will fertilize the rivers and feed the algae, the fish. As the saying goes, women are made of water; a wet burial to them is just nostalgia. In your sleep you dream of mermaids, the type that split their tails into two never-closing legs, the kind that only wear shell bras and long, curly, noodle-like hair. Your mouth waters.
Xueyi Zhou is an emerging writer in mainland China. A native Chinese, she enjoys the challenge of writing in English, a language out of her parents’ reach. More importantly, she enjoys the eye-rolling of her family when they demand to know what the words say but can’t. She currently works full-time in a stainless-steel company in Foshan. She is on Facebook and is figuring out Twitter @xueyizhou.