New Madrid--Accepted!

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.
I lick

their tips next to the shaking old man.


Time and again; time..... and again; I sit
.....and stay in my Japanese body; no

honeymoon: 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 I feel
accomplished in this country; in Lawrenceville,

Illinois: two
blocks down from a Catholic church: we rent

an apartment and I look at the moon
over the wild stems.

Note: (.....) means space.