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on returning to london ten years later

when i lived here, i was a girl

on edge. a coffee addict with a hopeless

sweet tooth. drifting about in a cloud

of anxiety. small. unassuming.

back then, i thought grades mattered.

had not yet had my first kiss. when asked,

i said i was from hong kong, which seemed at odds

with my american twang. so i twisted myself

into pretzels trying to fit in, splicing words

like toilet and lift into my diction

the future a mere possibility…

now i’m fully embedded in adulthood.

a matcha addict with a hopeless sweet tooth.

petite, not small. these days i walk with swag,

head thrust toward the sky. have feasted

on my share of beautiful men.

tell everyone i’m from new york,

which feels truer every day. no longer apologize

for who i am. i turn 30 this year,

which used to fill me with dread.

now i know better: if this decade’s

any indication, i have the rest of my days

to look forward to. a lifetime

of endlessly becoming.


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