Poetry & Prose


A hodgepodge of trinkets scattered across
the furniture handpicked by Mom and me
when I thought it was
The Most Important Thing in the World.

The Most Important Place in the World.
Nana would come knocking at the door,
fresh laundry the scent of a pale, hospital gown blue.

In the meantime I flip haphazardly through
The Cult of Self-Esteem: Is Our
Narcissistic Culture Ruining Our Children?
anxiously avert my eyes
from the gaze of the girl holding the trophy, smiling menacingly.

Turn to the prayer flags
piled lazily in the corner of the room.
Made in Tibet.

Turn out to “the world.”
Ornate, obnoxious Halloween decorations across the street,
the giant nondescript monster is a heftybag with laser eyes
that stare back at me when I try to shut my eyes.

When will Nana figure out
her grandson is not in Colorado anymore?

Is there a difference between Colorado and Asia,
allophones of Not Here
to the small woman who has gotten her hair done at the same place
for decades?

“Since before you were born!”

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