Memories are the specters
of the moments lost in time:
The scars on the skin, the sorrows
in the heart, & the footprints on the earth.
I carry my memories in my head,
like a mother will her child–
memories of my father fading,
memories of my mother grieving,
of my sister entering her grave, &
of my dreams flying away,
in a journey of no return.
Thanks to the airplane of this country.

I am heavy with sorrow.
I can no more carry the memories
of my friend’s mother who dies with petals
of prayers in her mouth, “my son,
may this country never happen to you.”
Say, to breathe here is to eat a series of grief
until every grief loses its taste.
My hopes are roses in a garden, wilting &
memories of this country spell fire–
I do not wish to self-immolate.

I am learning the art of sifting,
to lighten the burden of these
specters of memories in my head.
Remembering is haunting, & forgetting
is peace. But everytime I exit the wounds
this country has etched on my body,
another wound gashes it like the sunlight
through a chink. If sifting fails, I will learn
the art of s (h) i fting. & that is how
this country forces us into exile. & that is how
this country burns us down to cinders,
wandering about in the wind.










Photo by Ken Cheung from Pexels