Museum For Women Who Did Not Appear
“There is a difference between a choice and a wish. We were never asked what we wished for.”
These women were not forced into prostitution
Nor did they go willingly to support one side in a war
Nor did they stand in the spotlight and receive the applause of their audience
like the entertainment troupes that raised the morale of the soldiers.
They came and went silently.
Sudden death in shelling was an ever-present danger on the front.
No one knew them when they were alive and when they died.
They did not appear in military records.
They faced the same hardships, lived and died, like everyone else on Kinmen.—
Karissa Chen's fiction and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Gulf Coast, PEN America, Guernica, and The Toast. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan in 2015-16, and is a Kundiman and VONA/Voices Fellow. She is currently Editor in Chief at Hyphen magazine and is working on a novel.