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Isako like Ash Your Sister Drifts Back to You

During the war Isako you tell me your sister her daughters half-Japanese turned the neighbors cold this memory Isako a thicket that cannot be breached how it rises to block the sky nights Isako you tell me you darkened the windows readied a pot of uncooked rice for the pit in your front yard deep as a grave Isako out of the wanderings of history you have emerged Isako on this white couch all the body fallen from your bones to hear you speak Isako of war rations potatoes one week yellow onions the next mother riddled with stomach pains is like hearing you speak of another life Isako stumbling through streets bolts of silk clutched to your chest begging for handfuls of rice Isako your uncle whispers something about the city bombed like ash your sister and her two girls drift back to you on the wind your brother soon follows overhead a haze of memory so many lifetimes Isako together we stand mist breaking into little tendrils and drifting away Isako the world so bright and buzzing with activity it is difficult Isako to remember you at the center an obliterated city explosions of light buildings immediately flattened above the thicket Isako smoke rises from another life Isako the wail of air raid sirens the life you lead Isako not so distant as you may think

from Isako IsakoFind more by Mia Ayumi Malhotra at the library

Copyright © 2018 Mia Ayumi Malhotra
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Mia Ayumi Malhotra Poems

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