The summer both Mama and our dog
Had a herniated disk in their lower backs
Both cried in pain and in sympathy.

We talked about death and quality of life
Which didn’t feel so different
There on our kitchen floor.

I sat with my coffee and a book
In the early morning
The dog already in pain
(Not early enough)
My hand resting on his panting head
Not comforting enough.

It is not easy to look into a dog’s eyes
As he is waiting to end.

He aged within three days
Becoming paralyzed.
The cat stopped by to smell his legs
And for a second I thought they might work again.
We read him stories to let him imagine that they would.

I brought a mattress into the living room
To sleep beside the dog
With our heads resting close
Each breathing in our own animal way.





Ma’am, does your luggage contain any agricultural plant or animal species?

Do my roots count?

My home is a diaspora
No longer “the” diaspora
Because each place is foreign to the other.
(and I am foreign to myself)

I have integrated thoroughly enough into this new territory
That it’s time to confuse myself once more
Let’s dig up those roots again
Home is found in the digging process.
Home is somewhere mid-air by an oval window with some ginger ale and no leg room.