Sometimes, I wake up and I’m on an island in the Mekong River.
The night before, I saw a shooting star for the first time,
And fell in love with a glittering Thai sky.
I wake up and I’m lying under a mosquito net,
A film of sweat has formed above my lip,
My body cooling itself as I toss and turn and dream deeply.
Sometimes I wake up and I’m back home, I’m in my bed.
I stare at my ceiling and remember the exact shade of white paint,
My sheets smell like me, my room in its order from when I last saw it.
I want to cry when I remember my grandma is gone,
I laugh when local villagers and I can’t understand each other,
I sing when I hold a baby just born, he can’t understand my words anyway.
I wake up again and again, and sometimes my heart is in an Asian city I have never been to.
Sometimes, I’m back in a Los Angeles beach and the weather is breezy and I am falling asleep in the sand,
The sounds of the ocean moving through my skin.
Yesterday I was an eighteen-year-old girl confidently traveling the world,
And today I am four years old,
Looking around in confusion in place different than I know.
Sometimes I wake up and I feel so happy
At the peace in the air and the sounds of birds chirping,
And at my memories of my family and friends.
I am awake, both here and there, both now and then,
My spirit pulsing with both worlds,
Far away and close.