Danielle Shave/MiC.
I touch your face the same way I touched
	those books so many years ago— with 
yearning, with remembering, reaching
	for a time, sketching out a place, imagining a 
moment and a feeling that I had not yet met 
	and likely never would. The books contained 
language, contained a possibility, but could they speak
	with the same intonations as my cousins? 
Those conjugations and pronouns tasted 
	like new paper and old ways, but the 
scent of the world after I got off the plane those 
	few summers ago and stepped into that sunlight 
smelled like vibrant and unabashed life, felt like tradition 
	made lively again, tradition 
	made new, tradition 
	made family, 
	made home. 
Because the tradition that warmed my hands
	as I reached out from underneath the shade
of the palms, the tradition that was the eyes 
	I saw in the streets, the faces that looked 
like mine, peppered in between the light clay 
	walls and falling terracotta shingles, was
not tradition, really, at all. It was memory,
	a sinuous thing, thready, dip your hands
in it, make lumpia the way they’ve been making
	it since the start, sing songs in the
same tones as your great-grandmother. Memory,
	held by the water, held by the minds,
by the people and their hands, and waiting
	to be held by mine.

MiC Columnist Dani Shave can be reached at dshave@umich.edu.