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He's Moving Away

It feels like just yesterday when I walked the streets of Chinatown with my dad

on the phone with my half-brother

holding back a flickering smile.

Just yesterday when I found out that he would be a staircase up

not miles away.

He felt like family

maybe it didn't seem like it to me before

as a child, I thought of him as a friend.

But coming downstairs for my mother's kalbi stew

and clearing out a box of pastries from the market

made me feel less like a lonely child.


COVID-19 surging outside our windows.

We pack up our things and cram ourselves in an RV full of dogs.

Heading to the village holding all our happy memories

Cold Springs in the late summer.

My video camera always in my hand

we spend three days

having the time of our lives

summer barbecues

chirping crickets


frosted lemonades

and lots and lots of shopping.

Even in San Francisco

we melted on hot days

no air conditioners

all crowded on our floor level with a blasting fan

discussing our lives around the dinner table.

Change has robbed us of those moments.

He's happy, though

we visit his apartment

empty and barren

but simple

almost speaking to us

"a brand new start."

He's happy

and even though he isn't upstairs

to taste my cookies

to bump into in the mornings

or snore above me

I wouldn't say change is sinister

perhaps upsetting


I've learned that from him

to not let time take hold of me

and let it slip past me.

It feels like just yesterday

when I heard the beep of his white Honda

waking up all the dogs

coming home to us.


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