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Updated: Mar 12

i remember

green-backed tiles

clacking onto our water-stained table

the feeling of

glossy plastic sliding under my fingers

yawns stifled

in the pursuit of victory

i remember

playing mahjong

‘til the birds stopped chirping

‘til my eyes fogged over

‘til my world become

our rickety table

the clatter of tiles

a game

of taking and giving

i never learned how to read the characters correctly

north, east, south, west

were unfamiliar to my weary eyes

my mouth stumbled

over unfamiliar sounds

as i called out my victories

in a language

that i had lost and found

forgot and remembered

blamed and forgiven

mahjong was home

that i know

was my path back to my heritage

was my airplane ticket

to a family i rarely saw

mahjong was a language

that could never be replaced