And it was paralyzing to share it with everyone.

The German countryside emulsified into a blur as my train sped past giant trees and burblings streams. The glow of my laptop flooded my face as I added a new poem to what would be my first book, My Heart of Rice: A Poetic Filipino American Experience. I pulled moments, senses, and thoughts from my memories and onto the keyboard. My fingers flew— writing has always been second nature to me. I was never hesitant in the pages I can complete given an hour, or in this case, the several hours…

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