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Palms Painted in Pride

Artwork by Rebecca Song, staff artist

My immigrant mother doesn’t believe in


Because you will hear truthful love on fingertips

Instead of upon careless lips.

When one is genuine, their hands are stained with the decision

Born out of intention.

Her touch reveled upon treasures, common fruit from a homeland left behind.

She’d feed them to her children from lined palms, a tapestry of intention.

Sometimes, in the kitchen, I’d find her wrapping bandages on burns on her fingertips.

And I’d remember, when I prayed over the fire, to ask so that my hand wouldn’t slip.

Is that prayer mankind’s hindsight?

Adam’s hands were claimed by the earth under his nails

When he loved, trusted, tumbled, and slipped.

When he prayed over the fire, how did he see his decision born out of intention?

The birthmark lives on. My mother worries as my lips are sealed but my hands are scarred.

I cup them under the kitchen sink. With the water, the basin’s stained to the brim in paint.

Everyone before me knew their choice. I did not and loved without cause.

If she knew, my mother would believe that my hands were cursed to be sculpted this way.

And yet, aren’t the vibrant ink drops running down my fingertips genuine?

When you read my soul in every shade, do you find intention?

Are these the colored palms I was destined

To have? Or has my fate fallen

Out of translation?

In every language, judgement asks, “what did you decide?”


This is Rebecca! She’s just started her first year of art school. She not only loves to make creative content through her drawings but she also loves to listen to music (from R&B to kpop), dance, read novels, binging shows and movies, learning new languages on Duolingo and hanging out with friends.

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