Untitled Fairy Tale: Part 2

Continued from Untitled Fairy Tale: Part 1. Continued in Untitled Fairy Tale: Part 3. Once upon a time, a well-meaning, hard-working, but mentally complacent knight named Grant fell from the top of an enchanted tower where he had been hanging by his fingertips because he forgot to hold on. His descent was witnessed by his loyal […]

Visa

So much of Manhattan is patches of slick tourist traps bristling with selfie sticks and oversized billboards. But if you look carefully into the perpetual scaffolding, you can still find the hotel where Tesla died in love with a pigeon, or where Washington was inaugurated around the corner from TJMaxx. If you care about that […]

Untitled Fairy Tale: Part 1

Once upon a time, one of those beautiful princesses you always hear about lived in her very own tower on top of a high(ish) mountain. The tower was a proper fairy tale tower, so it was surrounded by brambles and thorns and lined with slimy moss. On the ground around it, like trampled flowers, lay […]

Midnight Melons

(cont’d from Nineteen Cent Chicken) Dad went to grad school with Aunt Mimi’s ex-husband–the one who left her the night she arrived in America. I heard he was tall and good looking, so I always imagined him with a strong square jaw and chiseled cheekbones. Dad on the other hand was short with an almost […]

My grandmother turned 80 this year

My grandmother turned 80 this year. I burned all my poetry, she said. We shared a room when I was little I watched her stealing out of bed fumbling for her glasses in the dark when a line was too good to wait ’til day I burned all my poetry. She wrote in pencil on scraps of […]

Nineteen Cent Chicken

“Chicken was nineteen cents a pound,” says Aunt Mimi at our post-Thanksgiving lunch. “We would buy twenty pounds of it and fill our freezer. Then I had to cook it. Everyday we ate chicken –curry chicken, fried chicken, soy sauce chicken, garlic chicken, chicken soup…When we finally could afford to buy anything else, I didn’t […]

Writer’s Block

i come to you like to an old friend lost in some forgotten table of past lunches and teas though for us it was late nights watching the sun creep over the cold dead of the in-between days the miracle peace between dead yesterday and tomorrow pulling, demanding. You, old friend, never change. Forever patient, […]

iEliza -Draft #1

“Did you walk the narrow streets winding between the buildings?” he asked. “Yes, of course,” Eliza said. She saw them in movies and glossy magazines. She had studied Madison’s Facebook thoroughly as well. There was one picture where the moon reflected off the wet cobblestones onto the stucco walls and then reflected back onto the path […]

Chongqing Subway

“Don’t take a taxi.” the girl at the hostel said. “They can tell you’re not from around here.” “But I’m Chinese too,” I said. “But you’re not from here. Your skin, the way you dress, the way you walk. And then you open your mouth and you’re definitely not from here.”

Home Sweet Chicago

Beijing was beautiful that day. The sky was a disconcerting blue, and the Blade Runner-esque skyscrapers were actually visible. The late summer sun formed streaks of sweat down our necks and a dryness in our throats. It glowed through the white curtains of the mercifully air conditioned expat apartment –professionally cleaned twice a week, I was […]