grandmother.

for my yin yin whom I miss dearly and have so many questions for.

i did not know you,
not in typical terms.

you were gone before
i even knew
what to
ask,

before I knew
mortality.

but i know you
in other ways.

in the ways your blood pumps
through my veins,
under skin

in the ways my feet
and hands
are always
cold

in the ways my father
remembers your cooking—
mixing what you knew with what you
hoped for

in the ways you’d watch us splash in the pool from the kitchen window,
live fish awaiting it’s fate in the sink,
wok heated almost as hot as the summer sun

in the ways i remember
your imperfect laughter,
squeezed together so tightly
into an armchair,
broken record player to our left,
dreams of seeing me grow up to your right.

how does a poem make up for
the years
I let myself
forget?

I don’t know if I
believe in
afterlife,
but if it means
the possibility of
knowing you
fully,
then I will believe
anything.

the love i know

They say to write about what we know.

I know love.
I own love.
I give love.
So, “write about love,” I think.

The love I know is raw.

Unfiltered by rationale,
held together by imperfect people
who are okay with being imperfect
together.

The love I know is platonic.

A word that doesn’t do this love any sort of
justice,
because it always holds me together,
lifts me up,
is the love I take most for granted.

The love I know is familial.

Familiar.
The longest relationship I’ve ever known,
transcending bodies and time and borders.

The love I know is strength.

It echoes,
bounces off walls I try to contain them in.

The love I know is changing.

Quiet on some days
and loud on others;
whispers in gratitude and shouts out its joy.

The love I know is a love I haven’t found yet–
is waiting in a bookstore or a coffeeshop
or a computer screen.
is patient, because it’s what I lack.
is used to being put on hold,
because it knows I have a lot of love
already.

The love I know is our friendship,
one-worded hello’s,
and home–
is living a life I never planned for;
is life itself;
is me figuring it out
everyday
over and over again.