Holding Water

Keeping a family is like holding water on your palms. You must not let any of it drop to the ground. Your hands must remain balls of fists even if you have no use for them.



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Black and white photo of a woman in a black dress sitting on a white couch. We don't see her face but there are rows of circular sunlight dots littering her and the couch, coming from a reflection or window.

We Write Your Name on a Grain of Rice

The doctor shows me cross-sections of my breasts on her computer screen. The images look like something from the Weather Channel, a satellite tracking a monochrome storm.

“You see here,” the doctor says, pointing out a line of tiny white spots, innocent as grains of rice. “And also here.”

***

At New York City street fairs, there’s always a booth claiming: We will write your name on a grain of rice.

Why write someone’s name so tiny it can’t be seen without a magnifying glass?

Who perfects an art like that?

When the doctor shows me the cross-section of my breasts, the grains inside, the microscopic tears that beckon my death, I think: Oh they’re pretty.


close up of skin of human's back with scratch marks

Skin

This skin has listened as I have tried to formulate sentences and protests to how it has been handled, and then has accepted that I have done nothing to save it from being touched.


In the Shadows of the Canyon

We go lower into myth and memory, the glimmery edge where the slabs and entablatures slow us down through a pass.


Object Lessons

I was convinced my body was dragging my soul to damnation. And so I tried to save myself by throwing myself away.


Queen of All Spaces

Our dining room table is the queen of all spaces in our home.  It carries our fears and secrets.  It offers us a place to eat our meals, sit, rest, and reflect.


Bhangra

The dance I wanted to learn? Bhangra. One person beats a large double-headed drum, the dhol, while folks in colorful clothing move on the balls of their feet, twist their wrists, and stretch out their arms. It’s an enchanting traditional dance; but somewhere in its migration from India to other countries, the dance snorted some cocaine and became frantic and hyper, choreographed to a conglomeration of Punjabi music and hip-hop. A way to get the general public more interested, I guess. Modern Bhangra was probably not what the farmers had in mind when they celebrated in villages long ago, but its origin made it my priority to master.