ten years later

when you are driving
down a familiar highway
more slowly
more carefully
than you used to
and memories
rush back
with a surprising
lack of pain

the resentment
the ache
the sting
replaced
by amusement

ah, the messiness of youth
you say with ease.

how strange
and how sweet

to find
bitterness
mellowed
by time

to find
yourself
older, softer,
healed.

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after falling

standing here

the moment
of falling
long behind me

it is worth
speaking of
the way it feels
to tuck against
the familiar

the desire
to remain
in an embrace

to persist
in the face
of imperfection

to marvel
at the journey

to see what
strange bends
we’ve taken

to know that
sameness is not
oneness

to cultivate
oneness
from difference.

to believe that
in all the small
incongruences
exist beautiful
possibilities

do you still

do you still look
into those
tucked away places

small streets
and alleyways

seeking feral
cats and their
kittens

do you still seek
with hunger
the possibility
of strangers
becoming
not

are you still
open
to wonder

the way
you once
were?

if so,
please
explain
the way

tell me how
to go back
to that place

from which
they’ve said

there is
no
returning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

make / mend

Hello readers.

Another year, another chapbook. My latest is called make / mend

after-the-election-excerpt-narinda-heng

[image: a photo of my piece, ‘after the election’, held open above a tiny airplant in a small ceramic planter, and a collection of river stones]

I’ve opened an online shop to make it easier to purchase and support my work.

Click the image below to take a visit.

Long Cool Hallway Online Shop

[image: a screenshot of my online shop, showing four brightly-colored chapbook covers and one muted, brown-colored cover]

It took me a long time to open a shop. One roadblock was choosing between different services and websites. Another was setting prices for my work. Yet another was taking photos and writing descriptions of my work.

It is a labor-intensive process, doing these things on my own. Going through the collecting and editing process, sorting out what I would like to make from all that I write over a given period of time, sometimes digging far back in my archives here, in old documents, in old notebooks, in old email threads.

And it is a lovely process, though one that I rarely invite others into. Only a handful of people have read drafts of my chapbooks. I’d like to be more intentional about inviting people into my process. There is great value in having people’s insight on my work in those formative times.

We don’t have to figure it all out ourselves. We don’t have to figure it all out alone.

Now, as ever, we need one another.

You, reading this: I am grateful for you.

-n