Sarena Tien

“Wǒ ài nǐ”

“Regisrasin,” my mom says,
and I correct it to “registration”
which she repeats,
the word lilting into a question

that I answer with “good,”
the same response I gave her
when she finally said “avocado”
instead of “agobado,”

leading to her laughter
as she informs me,
“I’ll forgot that”—

and although I sigh,
my heart is smiling, because
as long as she forgets
the English that I teach her,

I can tell her
“我爱你” (I love you)
whenever I want.

Sarena Tien is a Chinese-American writer, feminist, and Francophile.