Smile

“Basmah” means “smile” in Arabic. That’s what my ex-wife named our daughter; she said that maybe she could teach me how to smile. Our marriage lasted for eight years. I tried my best.



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black and white photo of flowers in a vase

Heirlooms

Oh, that’s where my parents used to—Grandma cuts off her sentence, spins around and starts again, climbing the stairs towards us. “That’s where my parents put me during storms.”


Speak, Unwoman!

I am kin to the disobedient woman precisely because I am not a woman, because no one is correctly a woman, because everyone fears being a woman, because the woman striving to be a paragon will die by a thousand dull cuts.


Known Among Universals

A grandfather is born in Jakarta. His mother is Chinese. His father is Belgian and Indonesian. His wife will be British, Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Scandinavian. His daughters will be born in the Netherlands. His granddaughters, New York, Los Angeles. This grandfather gardens. I call him in the Dutch, Opa. When he is ten years old […]


Memento Mori

Remember the melting world, burning into frog soup like a lullaby, so slowly we hardly know we are not just falling asleep.


Mother Chimera

When I woke in the recovery room after surgery, a nurse’s head hovered over mine. “It’s okay,” she said. “I had one too, and now I have three healthy kids.”
And just like that, I gained access to a world of miscarriages.