He bought a convenience store instead. It belonged to an Indian man who would light incense every morning with his palms pressed firmly together, bowing his head not in front of pictures of his deceased grandparents like we do but in front of the cash register.
Our conversations are limited to my third-grade level comprehension so I can tell you to eat your dinner and drink your milk or to change your clothes, but we cannot discuss the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning. We don't talk about where you go after death because I don't know the word for heaven or how to explain reincarnation.
an uncle would come in and ask me to write up a paragraph of the latest chef’s specials / so I felt very fortunate to be able to write in our language when he asked / he’d point out my misspellings / and I’d have to reassure myself that they didn’t make me
any less of my parents’ child
My mother, still beautiful despite dark half circles under her eyes, tensed her petite body; she did not narrowly escape communist Vietnam as a boat person to have her only child talk to crazy people for a living.
diaCRITICS is a blog that showcases voices and stories from writers, artists and culture-makers of the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora on and from all shores. We publish poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, visual art, and more. Our founding editor and publisher is Viet Thanh Nguyen. diaCRITICS is a project of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN).