I remember the large cabin
and numerous empty seats
on the PanAm flight from Frankfort to Dulles.
I remember the runny,
moist flesh of a chicku
in the back of my grandmother’s yard.
I remember the green cardamom’s lingering soft flavor
in the first cup of chai as a child;
I was addicted instantly.
I remember my first drawing:
a bright yellow baby chick.
The color so vibrant, I wanted to bathe in it.
I remember my broken teacher’s desk
from my first classroom in Tennessee.
I remember break dancing as a college student
in my mother’s basement,
sure that I would perform those same moves in front of large crowds with The Roots.
I remember laying on my twin bed
in my first bedroom
listening to WASH FM’s love songs
yearning for my first love.
I remember eating daal and rice
with ghee and pickle on top
like a my own personal volcano.
I remember eating broken pieces of chapati
soaked in milk and sugar.
I remember trying to harvest rose petal juice
with my brother
on the veranda of our house in Visak.
I remember wearing my first pair of black heals
with tiny mirrors on them
to my fifth grade chorus concert.
I remember laughing loudly
with MWS and EBS
after jumping at a random cockroach in Miami.
I remember singing “True Colors” with my husband in Oahu.
I remember rehearsing
for my first hip hop performance
and feeling sexy in my costume.
I remember attempting to smile delicately
for my Grad School ID Picture.
I remember popping my first tire
on the first day that I drove with my new license, thinking I’d never drive again.
I remember watching Robin Hood Prince of Thieves in a movie theater
in America for the first time.
I remember the day Kurt Cobain died
and I watched the coverage on MTV News for hours.
I remember wishing I could go back home that first night in Germany
away from all that I knew as a fifteen year old.
I remember my hungry stomach
as I waited to graduate in Radio City Music Hall.
I remember my first two piece bathing suit–
Halter top with boy shorts, Navy–
feeling so grown-up.
I remember hiking the hill in Kharmunghat
on Saturday afternoons like tiny explorers discovering new land.
I remember the gentle, rhythmic thuds of giant raindrops
on the roof of our tent in Williamsburg.
I remember attempting to ski for the first time
and the bone chilling fear that literally froze me from movement.
I remember my first taste of the Pacific Ocean;
the deepest blue that rules my serenity dreams now.
I remember holding your hand as the moist air of Mumbai filled our car.
I remember my first cell phone in 1999: black Nokia.
I remember riding on a Greyhound
and curving up the ramp towards NYC’s skyline;
my heart fluttering against the sight.
I remember watching Rent for free–
standing the whole time.
I remember the taste of JBS Pad Thai
cooked in that tiny one bedroom apartment
in Alphabet City.
I remember crying
in the corner of my bedroom closet,
while the police took the robbery report from my mother
in the next room.
I remember sleeping upright
in the chair next to you,
so grateful to have you alive next to me.
I remember driving
around Acadia National Park,
acting upon my own freewill
**Inspired by Joe Brainard’s I Remember