It soothes me to keep

the clutter of the past

in picture albums

on my cell phone:

mother’s yellow dresses,

ashes in weighted urns,


birth and death certificates,

enough heirlooms

to make a portable history,

things heavy enough

to resist memory’s drift,

for when

the hills blaze up

and I have to evacuate,

leave everything behind—

I am ready to

be an immigrant

once more.