What is in a home?
On the bus away from Taipei I feel like I’m leaving home, and also going home.
Homes on top of homes – my life feels like that at times.
Discarding the city of a loved language.
Returning to a city of difficult language.
A new city waiting in familiar and unfamiliar language.
Caught between cities and languages, between weather and lives, between pasts and futures,
Summers are when I feel it most:
My homelessness.

A homelessness I some days tire of and some days embrace.

My fingers are following telephone lines today.
They crisscross this country like train tracks.
mountain rivers, building oceans, concrete valleys,
sandy sunsets and raindrop alleys
and oh. the people.
like art. like music. like tea and coffee steam.
like the scrape of a metal wok and the boil of soup pots.
Mountains here are the backs of lion turtles and the sky knows me by the browning of my skin and how I sweat.
Browning with content.

Home. Home. Home.

To call the dusty outline of my body home, I shall fill every pore with all of these.
My toes will be Toronto and my elbows the streets of Hong Kong.
Singapore be the curve of my neck and Taipei my shoulders.

Each city welcomes me in season,
I have remembered all the paths,
I shall remember all the ways to go.
But it will always change.
I will return to the stump of a tree.
I will return to a dusty riverbed.
I will return to a clearing of grass.
I will return to a roaring of people.

I will know change the best in my home.
That is the homelessness of it all.

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Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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