1. A suitcase, to pack your tongue and passed-down superstitions, small enough to be carried without difficulty but big enough to remember its presence.

  2. A plane ticket to leave, far away from here where your lungs are tight with pollution and where your skin tingles with the dirt.

  3. A home to stay in, where you can safely unpack my suitcase without any strange looks or comments, perhaps in a cul-de-sac that belongs to a peaceful, sparsely-populated small town that is only loud twice a year.

  4. A pencil, to mark your place in this new world on a map of community, with your first impressions practiced and words chosen from the dictionary of etiquette carefully.

  5. A flashlight, to navigate the chaos of distance from what you think you know and what you truly don’t, into the small streets of this town and being spit back out.

  6. A box of bandages that sit in the front row of your medical cabinet, where you can quickly rip one and press onto your heart in case the cold gets too cold, the words too acidic.

  7. A porcelain plate because that’s how all good things go downhill, right? Clenched fists, a temper flaring to new heights, and shards staining the floor.

  8. A set of stamps, ready to be used when you begin buying in bulk the items here that back home are considered ‘imported’, and as you peel them unbidden, you wish that you could stamp yourself up and mail yourself overseas to stop the hollowness of your stomach from growing.

  9. A plane ticket back out of your dream, awake from the lingering sense of leaving what you’re fortunate to have now.

  10. Pieces of your heart mailed to those strong, surviving in sweeping sceneries and brutal backdrops of other lands.


ANDREA SALVADOR lives somewhere in Asia, specifically a country with thousands of islands and constantly humid weather. She is a self-proclaimed writer with a liking towards creating lists, watching sci-fi movies, and rearranging her bookshelf.