The OG

Nov. 16, 2023


The OG

November 30, 2002.
My photo archives show ghosts
two decades past: The proud gate
standing in front of Old Chinatown,
in all its deep red and gold glory,
and I can practically hear the horde
of cars inching along the narrow road.
The crosswalks are all too familiar to my feet now,
as I’m sure it was for you – the one
who came before me –
only I just happened to be there 20 years later.
November 30, 2022.

My eyes blur, focused
on yours, and now I can barely spot the differences
between our smile lines,
the shine of my eyes reflected in yours, both of us
so young. There’s more of you
in me than I’ve noticed
or admitted.
It’s haunting, to see myself
in someone familiar when their history
seems like a stranger.

Memories not mine,
feel so close in places I recognize,
my feet having walked the paths yours once did.
The Old Chinatown gate still stands in the same place,
feeling less foreign and more permanent
than the fading traces of your footsteps.
Yet our timelines clash,
your Past closing in on my Present,
and there’s no fighting it.
Now I’m looking into the Past
To remember the Future.

Unavoidably, you are the OG
and I’m just half of your copy.