why (do i always)

why

do

i

always

have to explain..


that my cantonese
is 'siu siu.'

'mm sick gong,'

that
  i can't speak
		'that'


(well).

that long before
my ancestors came to the
new land, i was already
forgetting a home and slipping
through my small fingers
was a language
which

i
learned
in
translation.

that i wish my ability to communicate
was fed to me at birth -

that
i worked so hard to forget
and to remember...

why do i always have to explain
that i cannot speak,


but i understand.
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the sea of stories (and creation)

look at the sky
a web of stars
without lines,
a game of connect the dots
drawn in invisible ink
escaping with the moon

maybe if we were close enough
you could drag your finger through the constellations
and feel each thread, strum a song
and call it god;
weave a patch
in
the fabric of existence

or spin heaven into a spool
and save it for a time at sea,
letting it out at the quiet of night

(or
make a home in a corner of the room
at the light of morning)
hang tiny beads of dew like
drops
of
honey...


and sail on, unfold into a map
a cornered box of a sphere,
the opened gift of raven's chest

float atop
    the sea of stories
               and creation.

chicken thursday

I
just
feel
so
depressed.

Like none of the successes
though in the small —
are lasting.

It’s like the small reliefs
the semi-daily reprieves
have a life of their own
and go on living without me.

And in moments of lucidity
I tell myself the falsest assumption,
that I will always be this way..

And even that wears off:

like a spell
like a smell
lingering just beyond my vision.

– – –

There is only so much room for trash:

even
the
waste
basket
overflows

family

just when my mind begins to race
imagining disasters in the ten-fold
tragedy unimaginable…

i remember that time moves slow enough
to catch yourself caught in the moment,
that ‘it’ is just right…

that mom’s hands never really age,
forever giving you enough to hold onto
if only wrapped around her one finger..
the first heartbeat you’d known

that dad’s tears are real badges of parenthood,
there when you screw up
and succeed… more than words,
saltwater lessons of life

that brother’s love is always there,
even when he was smarter, stronger, faster
he wasn’t trying to be better,
he just was…

that sister’s care is always stronger
than a proud defeat,
and she is always mother’s touch
even as miles – or inches – away..

and family is a root
a trunk
a branch

a leaf floating gently down
at the kiss of wind..

a wellspring of hope
a fountain of youth

a history, a language
and a name.

A thunder

Oh when i hear that southern drawl
The kind that originates
In the mother land,
the Wide East...

That language of tongue that is not
Tone alone, but slang and wit and
Whip-fast clever, a posture
and a history...

Do not mistake my polite nods
for empty listening.

That language creeps into me like a mountain rain,
drifting above freshwater pools and lakes of emerald
in an updraft,
collecting at the ridges and peaks that are
the bent
backs
of my ancestors

weighted down by law and conquest
they offer me their suffering
and call it a better life

on their steep slopes

salt drips crashing through the currents
of brownwater,
resting in pools and pristine waters
that would pose as the sky..


Here
between
cracked canyon smiles,
haunting granite faces:

i am  a rain
      a field

      A thunder