Tonight I am tired and will not sleep.
There are many dreams I could have
had. For instance, as a boy I dreamed
about being older, like my brother,
who studied computer science. Or
like before being “American,” my father
dreamed of America. I don’t want
to go outside because it is February,
and back then I didn’t have friends
because friendship is mostly built
on common interests/familiarity. At
Painted Rock Elementary no one looked
like me. In Des Moines no one
looks like me. It is very difficult
to learn a new language. In Busan
it is already tomorrow. Over
the phone I tell my grandfather,
I’m sorry I didn’t call on his birthday.
gwaenchanh-a, he responds. I nod.
And he hears the absence of understanding.