sand, 2

1999 Southern California “Sophie? Finished studying, finally? Cleaun thdei, kohn?” My dad called from the living room. Are you hungry, child? He always asked whether I were hungry. That was the Khmer equivalent of “How are you?” and “I love you.” “No,” I called back to him, “Lana’s here, we’re going to study some more.” … Continue reading sand, 2


1999 Southern California It was another hot summer day. We drove down the highway with all the windows rolled down, the ocean spreading out to my left as my hair whipped around my face in the passenger seat. Music blared from the stereo. Lana had made a new mixtape. Grungy love songs. I closed my … Continue reading sand

flight, 4

2002 Pacific Ocean “Okay.” I turned around and walked back down the aisle. Lakhena slid the book she was reading into the pocket in front of her and tucked the stack of books under the empty seat.  She called me ‘oun’ because she thinks I’m younger than she is. That’s all. Age is always a … Continue reading flight, 4

flight, 3

2002Pacific OceanI finished my second cup of coffee while paging through my notebook, looking at the journal entries, notes, to-do lists I’d compiled over the last few months. I was careful not to spill. My grandmother sat next to me, eyes closed, head tipped back. I had a feeling that she was not actually asleep, but … Continue reading flight, 3