lit issue 2020


In the summer, 

there’s a specific intersection on Boston Ave 

that is dense with familiar colors. 

Groceries cradled in both arms,

I pretend that the paths are lined with jungle.

This corner is so never-ending in its summer-ness

that it just about looks like home.

Now, here,

I am always somewhere else. 

The cold climbs into me 

and I make a routine out of 

complaining about the Fahrenheit scale,

breaking out in hives,

dreaming about hot soup draining down my throat.

Grateful for gravity

and what it does to soup.

I do everything to cure what my sisters say is homesickness,

a bellyache, a deep longing for familiarity:

I buy tropical fruits,

watch local news channels,

call my parents once a week.

I negotiate my belonging-ness to home,

tell stories from memory

until I believe they are mine.

The last set of plane rides draws near. 

In Singapore, 

there will be no seasons.

Just the same heavy humid exhales,

habits that sit comfortably in twisted questions.

Peace at a standstill,

guarded by trees that take a decade to bear fruit.

Heavy air makes for a suffocating kind of love, already stained 

with a prophecy of sacrifice. 

How long will it take for me to grow sick of home?