DREAM OF ANGEL ISLAND (OR: HOW TO FALL IN LOVE W/ A WHITE GIRL) by Kristin Chang

 

 

1. pass her your breasts like river rocks, but don’t let her return them

2. your body stores its own collapse. Remember this. Remember this

3. x-rays show that your heart is a field. This is not a metaphor

4. for Earth, the hardest thing about womanhood is bellying

5. all bodies invite injury: once, you swallowed a fork

6. let your ribs ring into a windchime. A song like something safe.

7. show her your greencard: the date you expire from this country

8. the date she was born, her mother bled a skirt of blood

9. the sky sweats out its light and you try to forget what it means

10. this irony: her name in latin means conquerer

11. women w/o men are always an omen: the day you buried your sister, the sky blanked

12. a blade backfired, became a mirror where your face is

13. the moon on fire is just another way of telling her

14. the same joke: the Pacific Ocean means peaceful in character or action

15. reaction: she calls you dumpling so you call her Angel

16. Islands make the best prisons, remind her

17. this is poetry: they examine us for hookworm / Everywhere is power / but no justice*

18. mother says justice is a housefire on the other end of this phone call

19. you pick up anyway.

 

 

*these lines were written by anonymous Angel Island detainees

 

KRISTIN CHANG is a student in NY. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Margins (Asian American Writers Workshop), Souvenir Lit, VINYL, Nailed Magazine, MISTRESS, and elsewhere. She is currently on staff at Winter Tangerine and has been nominated for two Best of the Net Awards. She is located at kristinchang.com

 

 

<Nicole Shanté White ** Jonah Mixon-Webster>

 

 

 

 

 

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