We need to move, you, me, the dog. We need to go somewhere, a small house with more space.
Somewhere where this life cannot get to us. The dog will be happier. I will be happier. You will
too. You … more »
Some days you wake up and realize that it has been over a decade since you last
hugged your mother and you see her every day.
There’s a canyon between you and the legacy of your family
Some days you … more »
i sit across the room from her,
as she calibrates my eyes
in their sockets
with her mind
she expels the shock
the flesh of my vision
as if i myself watched
the japanese march through a land… more »
My manicurist tells me
she left her country because she sought a better life.
Now she makes people pretty for a living.
I watch her draw little flowers on my toes
and meticulously glue pin-sized rhinestones.
My feet relax and… more »
In preschool I learned to speak
English consonants and vowels
tumbling out my toddler mouth:
No. No. I want. I know.
Turned my back on my parents’
tongue, Chinese phonemes too difficult
and different from everyone else. Beaded
together clumsy … more »
He tries so hard to prove himself—
Through every syllable, every word,
he enunciates slowly,
Pursuing excellence, perfection
but, the words refuse to cooperate with his work.
And so, he feels shame rising
over a language
he cannot control,
over … more »
Tired, so tired,
held up by fraying strings,
she’d drag us through throngs
at sales. We’d shrivel,
she’d fume. “Service!
I need service!”
Clerks could never
At restaurants, overlooked
single mom with three kids, no father
to focus … more »
At the grade eight dance, they find you
hiding behind folded lunch tables,
seize your hands and feet, drag you
across the floor like a mop.
On the dance floor, a girl
feigns stomping on your face.
You run to … more »
Have you ever had those dreams
you know, those carbon-dark
sorts of dreams?
Where monsters and men made
of the same fabric move in
and out of each other, amorphic?
I’ve had; those sorts of dreams.
sorts of … more »
Our new L-shaped house embraced
a pool as its heart, a curving
figure eight, turquoise shimmer
mirroring turquoise clapboard.
My father’s pristine pride
May through September. He’d
skim off leaves, vacuum sediment,
push the long-poled brush along the bottom
back … more »