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Showing posts from March, 2012

THE BEACH - Poem

THE BEACH

My grandmother packs dried
persimmons in a plastic
bag and walks to a beach. She writes
my father’s name on a wooden
stick when his body is buried
in the sand. I trace
the winkle around his mouth. My nails
catch a million pieces of crushed
shells. This is
after the tsunami happened, so
there are countless
bodies along the shores. I see
a picture of my father
holding me and laughing on his sixtieth
birthday. Last February,
he was here. I ate
the persimmons with him.
My grandmother says she does not
dream about him, so
I don’t. I kind of
remember the way he called
my name. Seagulls cry so
hard by my ears. Before I rebuild
his house, I will take him to a real
graveyard. I will buy a lot of
tombstones. His name
will be engraved on them.
Do you remember the neighbor’s yapping dog?
It is dead too, so
I will give it a small stone. I know
my father will finally
become holy but I do not have
a pillow. It would be too
cold to sleep on the tombstone. My grandmother
says I cannot sleep u…

Guess What I Got...

DVD of "The Adventures of TIN TIN"
Captain Haddock said, "Excellent!"

AFTER THE LAUNDRY -- Poem

AFTER THE LAUNDRY

I eat pig ears in Cebu. Its skin oil
drops in the ember fire

and there is a girl who brings me a plastic
plate. She has a leprous father

and they live in the village
by the swamp. Every morning

before I teach her at school,
she ladles the water and washes clothes.

In her mind she knows
she cannot leave from here

even though she has a one-way
train ticket. This particular

girl is only six years old.
She uses a wooden washboard

and there are never
bubbles in the basin.

After the laundry,
she likes to collect plastic pieces

and make an imaginary
rainbow. I collect them with her

without soaking my fingertips.
The swamp reflects

algae and rubble
by nightfall and daybreak.

UNATURAL CAUSE -- Poem

UNATURAL CAUSE

I eat soda ice-candy with my sister and see a dog
following the neighbor woman. The dog has a long
tail and we always want to feel it. My grandfather hates
the dog because it is a yapping disaster.

When the dog chases us to my grandfather’s house,
my grandfather grabs a fishing net
and follows it into the corner of a bathtub
because he wants to drown it.

And we are just after him to see
how he catches it and turns on the spigot.
The water is like an antediluvian wave,
it overflows the basin first, then splashes into the tub.

And my sister said, “Stop,” and I said, “Carry on!”
I picture the body returning to the neighbor. A crumb
of soaking fur is in front of a family Buddist
altar. The drops wet a tatami-mattress and socks.

CARRYING MY 237LBS IN A DANCE STUDIO -- Poem

CARRYING MY 237LBS IN A DANCE STUDIO

Yes, I eat three
gallons of clam chowder with French
pink sponges. Though
I have a baguette in a basket, it will never
fill me. My dance teacher asks,

How do you express love in front of the waterfall?

I spread my arms and thighs to make
a circle. My eyes are sunk
into floppy cheeks. My legs
trip and I fall into the water. A catfish

blows bubbles by my ears. The trouble
is my purple leotard. It is tight
around my neck to remind me I am not loved.

When my body drifts to the beach, seagulls scatter.

You are under a warm sheet with an anonymous woman, hearing nothing.