Sweet Home In the Jungle

My babe hangs awful on persimmon buds—
their toes like diamonds and root beer cans,

my beloved, a cradle, and lynching stand—
she washes the River Perfume clean.

Bà ngoại is swollen throughout the raid—
whose men tracked monks like sneaky grenades,

her placenta, a jackfruit dangles beneath—
and patriarchs return beloved amongst the trees.

These trees, my trees are devotional places
with babes as leaves and swinging graves.

They tell a story of cypress vines who braid our hair
and floating beds that lay us down to sleep—

Bàngoại and me and baby Le, the girls with fire to keep.

Temp Labor

An operating room
set aside for jokes

an array of clamps,
bulbs, mirrors

and how many food stamps
does it take to get a contraction?

An old white man laughs—haw
haw haw

and my mother taps
at the piss yellow tie

how much for son to go medical school

and the old white man falls grave
my dear, it is a girl.

I watch her weep on VHS,
as she holds my sister to her chest—

but doctor, doctor?
How to afford without no son.

Orange Blossoms

white petals
tangerine tips
ignore the thorns
and crow after storm

the roof
a tamarind tree
ignore the tabby
ran over below

and oneisan
little sister and big
jump puddles

splat like
pitaya seeds
white flesh
in the overgrowth

Sophia Terazawa, a Vietnamese-Japanese poet and performer, writes for THE DECOLONIZER. Her work appears in HYSTERIA, The Fem, Project As[I]Am, Blunderbuss, Perigee and elsewhere. Visit her at www.sophiaterazawa.com

:: more from this issue ::

Four Flashes

Zachary Doss

ISIS, Or Waiting

Kamelya Youssef

Three Poems

Sophia Terazawa

How To Eat a March Hare

Elizabeth Lemieux

Two Poems

Deonte Osayande


Nick Makoha