By H.T. Ngo

August 29, 2022


The combination to my gym locker is 6-22-32. Locker number 433.

To unlock the gate at the club, use 5024. It’s usually already opened by the groundskeeper.

My code for the office copier is 4599.

My credit card number is 4024-0071-3578-1044.

You can have them all.

And if you are that person who stole my backpack in college, it will be okay.

You took the pens, pencils, calculator, and notebooks--but returned all the personal items.

From the notebooks, you tore out all the sheets that had my class notes and carefully folded them up inside the textbooks you left behind.

What kind of thief does this?

My mother used to save our old school supplies so we could reuse them the following year.

But your idea was better. Somewhere a little boy received a new backpack along with fresh school supplies.

He can have them all.


H.T. Ngo is a graduate of the University of Missouri's Ph.D. program, an alumnus of the East-West Center, and the recipient of an NEH Fellowship as well as a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship. He lives in central New York where he teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Hamilton College.


Image by tatomm courtesy of Adobe Stock

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