LESSON IN GEOMETRY AND THE REDISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES Family of Vietnamese boat refugees—a single mom
When I was little, for years, Mother would bring home brown
paper towels she took from the restroom at work.
I remember folding and unfolding the rectangles with my small hands.
Three equal parts forward and backward.
I didn’t understand that we were poor but I could smell it
in the scent of the paper and feel it in the roughness against my face.
I learned a lesson in yin and yang before I even knew what it meant.
I do not feel shame but only love as I imagine my mother quickly pulling
paper after paper after paper from the metal dispenser in the restroom
and hiding them in her purse to bring home to my brother and me.
CRYING MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER
crying is okay like my 12th grade
student says he cries
during the covid-19 pandemic
nine hour work shifts
pushing heavy grocery carts
there are carts
left at the back
of the parking lot
where he needs
to walk that extra
that extra amount
of energy left
squeezed out of him
to push the carts back
to the front of the store
In Cantonese, the word for “happiness” is “hoy sum”. “hoy” means “open” and “sum” means “heart”. “happiness” is “open heart”. drumming a hundred thousand beats a day. happiness – thousands of orange poppies in bloom, lighting up the hillside and soaking in the spring sun with their hearts wide open.