they told me to travel

when I’m older.

I think they didn’t know
that moving through someone else’s ordinary
creates the lens through which I see.

if aging is about growing
this is how I grow:

across difference
uprooting what was once cemented
with us and them.

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another ocean

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the ocean is thick with trash
the waves waddle towards the shore
like marshmallows, like winter coats
out of place

even so,
the water is beautiful
under this sunset sky

three birds flap peace to the wind

I hadn’t realized I’d been living so close to the ocean,
the girl from the landlocked state
chases water as a woman

you forget about the ocean
when you’re in the traffic
concrete thrown up into half-baked sidewalks

but here, something within me tells me to
unravel.
pause a little on this concrete shore
remember all the other times you were by an ocean like this

[riding with laughter and a friend on double bikes in Shenzhen
requesting 十年 to be sung on the shores of Taiwan
cousin hangman in the sand
the boy who told you the story of the snail and the rabbit on the extraterrestrial beach
brothers and Barcelona
shrubbery
. . .]

pocket the youth that escapes you
savor it all the while you grow up
on this side of the world

maybe that’s why the ocean reminds me to pause
the waves are always, rolling
back and forth
back and forth
never forgetting to play
always thick in reflection
of everything
under the sun

home:

what if your home is the grey space between the underpasses and highways,
where the weeds grow and the old tires tire,
where the people pass in buses and cars on their way to attend to the-most-important-business

?

“Oh, I miss it.”
“What do you miss about it?”
“Everything, really…
I don’t know, maybe it’s different when it’s
home.”