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.
Cover Photo Source: The New York Times