Dear Asian Youth,

I dedicate this to the two places I call home.

Home is a loud metro station

squished between the man with the brown briefcase and the mother cradling her whining baby.

Home is a quiet skytrain ride

an empty carriage announcing Bed, Bath & Beyond discount sales on the small television screen.

Home is warm steam from the kitchen

bowls of noodles and cups of half-sweetened soy milk.

Home is the sound of sizzling flour

maple syrup drizzled over stacks of fluffy pancakes.

Home is a crowded city

towering buildings and large billboards illuminated by neon lights.

Home is a relaxed town

lines of decade-old oak trees and piles of warm-toned fallen leaves.

Home is the humid air

polluted with factory smoke and a tinge of gasoline.

Home is the freezing wind

dry and piercing on the naked cheek.

Home is a night market

fried meatballs and spring rolls for sale on both sides of the street.

Home is a park picnic

strawberries and milkshakes on red-checkered blankets.

Home is a karaoke night

dazzling lights and piercing off-tune screams of Blackpink singles.

Home is a game of hopscotch

jumping on empty sidewalks through lines drawn with broken chalk.

Home is having

assignment deadlines, broken dreams, fears for the future.

Home is missing

crayola coloring books, build-a-bears, what’s for dinner.

Home is Shenzhen.

Home is Vancouver.

– Eva

Cover Photo Source: The New York Times