The people of Hawai’i celebrate Lei Day every year on May 1st

Did you learn pineapple makes a pizza Hawaiian? A Hawaiian shirt is a kitschy floral button-down only your middle-aged uncle wears? That Aloha translates to hello and goodbye, respectively? You’re not technically wrong on some of those. But let’s zhoosh up your cultural literacy.

It’s Asian Pacific American Heritage month. And while that encompasses the entire Asian continent, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia — May 1st was Lei Day, one of the biggest cultural celebrations in Hawai’i. So I’d love to share how we might better honor America’s 50th state.

I’m a “hapa” girl (meaning, I’m mixed-race Asian Pacific Islander). I…

“Criminal Minds”, CBS

As a child, I was an overachiever, a go-getter, a mover, and shaker… It’s a reputation that, into adulthood, I’ve become comfortable with and often enjoy. But today, I’m coming clean.

In fifth grade, I failed math.

When my mother found out, she marched down to the teacher’s office to find out why. Her solace? “It’s perfectly normal. Girls just aren’t as good at math.”

In today’s tech industry, it’s not enough to have software that works. You need software that’s intuitive, beautiful, and has great content. That next-level product requires a magical team of designers, researchers, developers, and one craft you may still be getting to know: UX writers.

Not sure what a UX writer is? Open your favorite app. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Take a look at all the words across its buttons, headers, and notifications. A person wrote all that. If the company took their user experience—and content—seriously, that person was a professional UX writer. (Okay, maybe I don’t have to convince…

Deep Souldiving

If she’d listen,

I’d tell her that she is my one true moon.

And my tides sway

To all the rhythms she taught me.

She is my direct line

To our female ancestors.

And I hope to be the daughter

She hoped for when she was my age.

I’d tell her, but Mama never takes compliments well.


You are a cliff

That I walk along.

And although, on occasion,

I look back to land—

Still I map out

All the ways to fall.


I wish you knew how

Infinite you are.

You are a glass bell

That gleans the stars;

You are a gold rope

That loops the sun.


Photo by Brandon Smith at Novel Hill |

Do you see how the

Curve of your spine

Question marks

Everything he tells you?

I do not blame you

So many men have chiseled you

Into that shape.


photo by · cait emma smith

There are days when my body is a castle,

And nights when it is a war zone.

I have learned that the fastest road

Between the two was named Comparison.


I want to be

As honest with you

As the bottom

Of a whiskey bottle.


Memories of you

Rock in my mind

Like pebbles

On the ocean floor.


Cait Emma Smith, M.A.

Writer, design lover, book devourer, after-hours poet, and expert parallel parker (she/her) |

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