it wasn’t long ago
i was picking him up
to hug him hello

and only yesterday
i was leaning in
to kiss him goodbye

now he is the one
bending at the waist
to greet me

but no matter
how tall he gets
he better not
try to lift me


windows are wide open
and i can hear
the dull roar of the ocean
falling from the sky
-illions of separated drops
scrambling to reunite
in the innumerable dips
and valleys and potholes
of my inner-city neighborhood


for someone who usually likes
doing things according to the book
i don’t think i’ve once followed
a recipe exactly as it’s written

always an ingredient removed
or replaced or ofttimes added
and everything eyeballed or
measured in the palm of my hand

i could say it’s because i’m trying
to make the dishes my own
but really, i just get a little
tired of all the washing up


even khmer words have silent letters
indicated by a squiggly symbol above
characters that have been “assassinated”

as with any rules there are exceptions
and some stubborn letters marked for death
rally to make one final dying sound

but sometimes it’s a massacre and
four or five letters are silenced by a
single heavy-handed stroke of the pen

i don’t know when to kill what yet
so i follow my instincts for now and
let everything live on just a little longer