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Were promised to me in the secret language
of if only. I had a falling
asleep of us in that space where we exist
best, all pear
orchards and humid cafes. We wandered
miles of cotton ocean, deltas
of all the traditions we made smirking eyes
at, fingered the clumsy
phrases we used to undress our nerves, toyed
with bodies hedged in poinsettia.
Stare at a bleeding: notice the shape
and the beauty, the hue of its petals
and all it evokes in my memories. Pull it
from the ground and hold it
close to you. Evoke for a second the smell
of my hair and close your eyes:
remember the bullish whisper of your awe
at the minotaur we built between us.
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Draconian individual punishment distracts from systemic change and reinforces the cruelest and most racist system of incarceration on the planet.
Our well-being depends on a better understanding of how the logic of labor has twisted our relationship with pleasure.
“I was my father’s son. My father was Nai Nai’s least favorite.” A Taiwanese American man, driven from home by a secret, reevaluates his childhood memories of his grandmother.