By: Julia Zhu

I am from pristine pages of rough sketches 

The lead scratching the blank pages, not stopping 

I am from the tired mornings 

where you pray for an extra minute of sleep 

I am from the crisp pages on a book 

Huddled in a corner not to be disturbed 

Images flashing with each chosen word

Words whisper in my mind ‘till I drift off

I am from the fast-flowing creeks 

The flat stones skipping, just barely skimming the water

I am from Mango nectar and Spring-rolls 

The fried rolls crunching with every bite.

I am from glistening slopes of snow every winter 

not waiting for the ski season to arrive 

The rush of wind past your ear and the heights of the lift

I am from the “sure why not” and the “okay?”

I am from the “maybe” and “yeah-no…” 

I am from bright notes sheets pasted to my board 

Scribbled with something written for me, something I forgot 

Some with unrecognizable gibberish others with rushed drawings 

Of  Adelie Penguins and the long-legged Serval

I am from China and the Yangtze River, the root of China

The strong current flooding the river bed every year

The Chinese characters written like calligraphy can with English 

Penjing delicately made and put on display, each individual branch growing 

The food spicy as if it were on fire maybe laced in with tea

China’s hot, humid nights and America’s cool, dusky evenings

A bamboo scroll holding my name, folding back the last few thousand years