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.
An operating room
set aside for jokes
an array of clamps,
and how many food stamps
does it take to get a contraction?
An old white man laughs—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.
ignore the thorns
and crow after storm
a tamarind tree
ignore the tabby
ran over below
little sister and big
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