why do i always have to explain.. that my cantonese is 'siu siu.' 'mm sick gong,' that i can't speak 'that' (well). that long before my ancestors came to the new land, i was already forgetting a home and slipping through my small fingers was a language which i learned in translation. that i wish my ability to communicate was fed to me at birth - that i worked so hard to forget and to remember... why do i always have to explain that i cannot speak, but i understand.
look at the sky a web of stars without lines, a game of connect the dots drawn in invisible ink escaping with the moon maybe if we were close enough you could drag your finger through the constellations and feel each thread, strum a song and call it god; weave a patch in the fabric of existence or spin heaven into a spool and save it for a time at sea, letting it out at the quiet of night (or make a home in a corner of the room at the light of morning) hang tiny beads of dew like drops of honey... and sail on, unfold into a map a cornered box of a sphere, the opened gift of raven's chest float atop the sea of stories and creation.
Like none of the successes
though in the small —
It’s like the small reliefs
the semi-daily reprieves
have a life of their own
and go on living without me.
And in moments of lucidity
I tell myself the falsest assumption,
that I will always be this way..
And even that wears off:
like a spell
like a smell
lingering just beyond my vision.
– – –
There is only so much room for trash:
just when my mind begins to race
imagining disasters in the ten-fold
i remember that time moves slow enough
to catch yourself caught in the moment,
that ‘it’ is just right…
that mom’s hands never really age,
forever giving you enough to hold onto
if only wrapped around her one finger..
the first heartbeat you’d known
that dad’s tears are real badges of parenthood,
there when you screw up
and succeed… more than words,
saltwater lessons of life
that brother’s love is always there,
even when he was smarter, stronger, faster
he wasn’t trying to be better,
he just was…
that sister’s care is always stronger
than a proud defeat,
and she is always mother’s touch
even as miles – or inches – away..
and family is a root
a leaf floating gently down
at the kiss of wind..
a wellspring of hope
a fountain of youth
a history, a language
and a name.
Caught this via Asians Not Studying…the apt and eloquent slam poet, Beau Sia.
Oh when i hear that southern drawl The kind that originates In the mother land, the Wide East... That language of tongue that is not Tone alone, but slang and wit and Whip-fast clever, a posture and a history... Do not mistake my polite nods for empty listening. That language creeps into me like a mountain rain, drifting above freshwater pools and lakes of emerald in an updraft, collecting at the ridges and peaks that are the bent backs of my ancestors weighted down by law and conquest they offer me their suffering and call it a better life on their steep slopes salt drips crashing through the currents of brownwater, resting in pools and pristine waters that would pose as the sky.. Here between cracked canyon smiles, haunting granite faces: i am a rain a field A thunder