All Library locations will be closed Monday, June 19th for the Juneteenth holiday.
My most vivid recollections of China are filled with fond memories and blissful experiences. The smell of smoke and frying foods wafts through the air, and at night the streets are a disorienting mess of flashing billboards and street lights.
Turquoise vinyl siding
a green darker than any Carolina marsh.
Twenty steps up to the front door.
Fifteen more to the bedrooms.
Will the luggage make it to its destination?
Salty wind pushes at the falling tide.
Blue serenity veils the town as a
melancholy buzz flows through the idle docks.
A boat pushes through the harbor:
It drifts along,
Born into the place I despise.
Growing in the green,
not seeing what could be.
always wanting more.
I’ve never understood why people are so disgusted
I like the little guys.
They way they scurry around from place to place,
they’ve always got somewhere to be,
perhaps because they don’t like where they are.
I know the feeling.
Sometimes when I sit in my room I think of home
I think of all the things I miss and how I’m alone
In all the loneliness I get consumed in sadness and fear
Then I feel the pain as I shed a tear
Sometimes when I’m in my room and I’m entrapped in silence
Is it the one place you can go?
the one place you can trust
those who are there
no matter where you are
or where you are going?
Is a home where you are always found
and lost to lose yourself in old memories?
My ma says
She pushed my stroller
around the bumpy streets of
Queens, Jamaica, Long Island,
Through rain and snow, all
Finding no help from the
passengers, all ignoring her
Winter seems like an endless calm.
When the cold surrounds us,
and the darkness makes the streets disappear,
the world’s turning seems to slow down.
You can see footprints start and footprints
Although I have never been,
I can smell the condensed aroma
of fresh bread in the bakery,
occupying its place in the noses of bypassers.
Although I have never been,
I can distinguish between the flavor
of black and green olives,
Moving boxes carefully across the street,
Looking both ways
before pushing a small cart of toys across the street.
Today we were moving,
But it was not a long drive to our new house,
It was a simple walk across the street.
I hastily picked my feet up out of the snow to uncover a pair of warm brown boots that had been hidden under layers of white fluff just moments ago. The cold wind pierces my bare cheeks as I charge forward, breathing heavily to reveal a cloud of warm carbon dioxide.
Police tape lines the yard
I walk past
Baby blue house in cookie-cutter neighborhood
I look down and it says welcome
I quickly step in and close the door
so the camera flashes don’t glimpse inside
A table set for seven with pink orchids in the middle
This here is real.
There are no stories
about happy homes and whole hearts
where we come from.
No fancy cars.
We got no big houses but big dreams.
This is crack fiends at midnight,
babies crying, sleeping on wooden floors.
What do you do when the place you call home
Is one that you no longer recognize; when you
Forget that place is no mere function of space,
But also a function of time; and the
Crystalline memories you can still see,
Chicago, my beauty;
Chicago, my heart.
Chicago, the deep breath of
Every morning I start.
Chicago, my summer;
Chicago, my light.
Chicago, the way her buildings
Shine in the night.
she is four years old
on wooden floors
like a spinning top,
too short to reach the cabinets or
see above the sink,
to reach her
pink plastic glasses
I am from the nail polish in my room,
From holographic glitter and high heels.
I am from the toys on the ground
(rainbow, soft, Sasha never picks them up.)
I am from cacti pricking my fingers,
From shopping and thanksgiving,
From Sasha to Caleb.