I’d been rehearsing this moment
over and over again in my head
The moment I had to bid everyone goodbye

I thought I was strong
All twenty four year olds should be, right?

But as I stood in front of the gate,
the smile hiding the timid version of myself
crumbled down completely

Because leaving those dear to your heart
would never be easy

was the only word I managed to say
as I cried in my dad’s embrace,
something I would never outgrow
I guess I would always be dad’s little girl

Mom didn’t say much
She never does
She doesn’t need to
because I know
she loves me more than anyone else does

I stared at their faces a little too long,
trying to capture what my camera could not
their fine lines
their familiar scents
their warmth
I wanted to bring with me,
wherever I go

I waved at them for the last time,
hoping the distance between us
would not separate us,
hoping this journey
would all be worth it


The Lucky One(s)

My father once told me a tale of a firstborn
the toughest of its kinds
though a little bit too small
her first cry—loud and clear
brought a spark into her mother’s tired eyes
her words lost in pure gratitude

Everyone loved her perky little nose
but not her brown skin
or her short, chubby fingers
but my father swore
he’d never seen a more beautiful newborn

Her wrinkly fingers shivering
too tiny to even hold her mom’s pinky
but her mom would hold her
in the warmth of her chest
my father beamed and said
he’d never felt more serene

And just like every other firstborn
she was lucky
to have been given more than she could ever give







The spitting image of my mom, they’d said
I had so much to say about it
not so many nice words, though

How could they say so,
when we were nothing alike

She was a tsunami
I couldn’t stand too close
I wouldn’t have known
when she would implode
and prick me everywhere

I used to think I was better
a calm low tide wave, swaying easily to the rhythm of the sea
Now I know all too well
the wrath of the dumping wave could swallow any living thing

Have they been telling the truth all along?