When I Close My Eyes

By Huiying B. Chan

my hair sways long
black streams cascade
down my back

somewhere, skies illuminate after somber rain
ashen clouds birth gold crowns
dirty puddles reveal trees sipping earth

somewhere, a comet slams
into the moon’s body
& she doesn’t even flinch

i wear a dress again
auric jade nylon floats above my knees
no one sneaks pictures of me on the subway

that’s the whole story:

i walk home in peace
sing & marvel at the universe
in serenity.

somewhere, a nebula collapses
under the weight of its own gravity
& a star forms

i close my eyes

these floorboards become tree again
i walk onto its dusted back

redwood glitter grazes
palm lines of my feet

i stamp gentle imprints

walk off

into light.

Headshot of Huiying B. Chan

Huiying B. Chan is a creative writer, cultural organizer, and facilitator from New York City. Their body of work centers migration, race, displacement, and intergenerational resistance and resilience. As an organizer, they work on education justice, immigration, and anti-displacement campaigns from Chinatowns to the border. They also facilitate QTPOC writing workshops, using writing as a tool to cultivate our radical imaginations for liberation. Huiying has received fellowships and awards from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, VONA/Voices, The Poetry Foundation, and American Education Research Association. They are currently writing a memoir about their journey tracing family roots in Toisan, China, and exploring ancestral lineages past and future.

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