New Madrid: A Journal of Contemporary Literature is accepted two poems.
My grandfather hides in a closet.
“I’m not afraid of dying in this war,”
he screams. Bullets
blotted out the sky
in 1945. Flower-printed
futon mattresses caught fire. Ash
stuck in my grandfather’s eyes. Like rotten
fruit, only the skin held a human
shape. His shoes were scorched.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t destroy war memories.
“Do you want to eat a tangerine?” I asked.
He crouches in the closet,
stroking his dried toes. I sit next to him. Cicadas
recite the Buddhist sutra. I trace
the tangerine’s peel and think of your
smooth body. My nails
pierce skin. Juice rolls
down between my fingers.
their tips next to the shaking old man.
IN LAWRENCEVILLE; HONEYMOON
Time and again; time..... and again; I sit
.....and stay in my Japanese body; no
dining table: eight months & three
thousand dollars to become an Asian
or Pacific Islander
immigrant; it’s pending: I can do
nothing: I am
nothing until it clears; I can’t hire you—
secretaries treat me like an illegal
alien.....and warn my red
passport will expire soon; I smack
a laundry basket into a chair.....so I feel
accomplished in this country; in Lawrenceville,
blocks down from a Catholic church: we rent
an apartment and I look at the moon
over the wild stems.
Note: (.....) means space.