Those memories I have of you are sweet, sweet like the osmanthus honey you used to make me, petals hand picked from your cobblestone patio back in China. You left only a few jars before you went back to Nanjing seven years ago, but I still remember their taste. They were rich and floral and tasted so much of home. I thought that of our memories too: thick and comforting, but they were clumped as well, honey riddled with dry chunks of misunderstanding and silence.
It’s been so long since you were last in America, but every…
Between Barbed Wire: A Visual Analysis of TIME’s Welcome to America
A series of rafts float closer to shore, near the Rio Grande on United States territory. The riders’ faces are beaten and their hair mangled and sweaty. Most, if not all of them, are women and children. Driving out, photojournalist John Moore sees more than a dozen asylum seekers. Among them, a pair of figures stands out: A mother clutches her daughter closely to her chest, waiting to be searched. The border patrol agent asks the mother to set her child down, and immediately, the child begins to scream.
Every parent has a pet peeve. My mother’s is dishonesty. In her house, even the little white lies never went unnoticed. Sometimes she would pounce and catch me in the midst of telling a grandiose fabrication. But other times, she would catch a lie on her tongue, roll it around in her mouth, and chew on it for a few days before spitting it back in a heated argument years later. The woman was a lioness. She preyed on the truth and tore apart lies with just a single whiff of suspicion.
Mother grew up in a family of three…
I sometimes look back at an acrylic piece I painted a few years ago. “The Pool,” which I creatively named in the haste of submitting the painting to an art show, features a girl swimming in a crystal-clear pool somewhere on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. A boy in a red shirt stands over the pool, watching the girl as she completes her laps. In this painting, there is a single dark red wrinkle on the boy’s shirt that has a different shade from the other wrinkles. …
The needle is a fine strand of hair plucked from an aging scalp.
It is intentional in physiology:
Designed to be invincible, it pushes through flesh and muscle with ease.
It is good-willed in nature:
Dimpled at the end of a steel body, it permits quick removal.
Yet, as breakable as it seems at first puncture,
The metal point sends quicksilver through my veins, which
In its wake paves a path for the flow of vitality.
I lay with what seems like thousands of needles, and
I focus on the inkling of a feeling:
Each prick is a reminder of ancient history.
Each prick is the nature of traditional practice.
Each prick is a bookmark: the memory of a needle in time.
Walking through streets of Nanjing
Lanterns speckled by the carbon dust and debris,
Sweet, like the honey Nai Nai keeps
Soaked in osmanthus petals.
The vendor blows molten sugar,
Curling it into thousands of fine strands
Which cling to the next like blades of wet grass
Trying to fumigate the air
As the vendor shapes the sugar in his hands
The blades take the form of bars
And bars to birds, and
Birds to wings that cannot fly
And I see
A sugared prison bird
An imprisoned mind
Stuck in the sick, viscous honey of memory,
Open source still has a long way to go before software, and software development alike, becomes more equitable. Open source has proved useful in building a community of developers and creating high-quality products, but it is also reveals some of the worst parts of humanity. Discrimination is embedded in small parts of open source practices and licenses, and it is important to shed light on these issues in order to make the open source community more diverse and inclusive.
Github’s mission is to “support a community where 27 million people learn, share, and work together to build software.” However, it…
MIT ’21 / tech & society / creative writing / poetry / art