Ash Wednesday

Looking down at the little lump of ashes in the crease of the sports page, I wet my finger in my mouth, touched it to the ashes and put it on my tongue.[…]


Six filaments from my clenched fist end up in the wastebasket. The tease and tug are pushing obsession buttons. I react to phantom touches, swipe, and come away with nothing. Repeat.[…]

Casual Contact

Flying for business, I was sitting in a window seat with earbuds and a book when a young woman next to me reclined her seat. Leaning back to get comfortable, she placed her ankle over mine and proceeded to fall asleep […]

It Happened at 4:32 pm After Daylight Savings

When he relays the story over the phone, he doesn’t repeat what they said to him, but I know enough to know they could also be applied to me, to my family, to my best friends, could be said to any Asian on the street who is or is not Chinese, who does or does not wear a face mask. […]

Thickly Settled / Flight Risk

We drive back behind a sluggish logging truck. The nodule in my neck is bigger this year, crowding my windpipe. The truck takes every turn with us, like it knows where we live. Maybe we could get you some scarves, you say […]

Necessary Shadows / Flowercrackers / Empty Stomach Full Belly

Since Paati died, fireworks were the only thing that could get Thatha up and out of bed, and the goggles were the only thing that let Amma let us keep watching the shows.[…]

Before the Shrine of My Fermentation Cabinet

I crouch before the fermentation cabinet every other morning to check on my scoby, the color of my kraut, to smell the bacterial funk, and each time I am transported.[…]