Poetry

January 6, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Daido Moriyama

 

By

Samantha Neugebauer

 

 

Doing New Identity

 

 

Lao women in America learn

to say i’m tired

tam mak hung

 

can things ever be restored when

girls start to talk like women

a language is invented

 

2,092,888

2,092,889

2,092,890

 

wet rice field walking

leaving plain of jars

polygamy

and into urban metal warehouses

lao men cry

performance error

where have our women gone in

immigrant america?

 

2,092,891

2,092,892

2,092,893

 

we are right beside you dear, she says

who I am is always

who I am in

terms of someone else

when you say one sound,

how it affects the sounds that come next

 

2,092,894

2,092,895

2,092,896

 

refugees do femininity like white girls do

spend life learning acceptable responses

if I say hello

you say hello back while

inside heads

busy negotiating

new identities

 

2,092,897

2,092,898

2,092,899

2,093,900 tons

 

we are and

we did

exploding into new pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daughter Language

 

 

Close your eyes

try to remember everything

you already know

the history of knowing it

 

there was a time before trees

wobbling toddle eye

distant brown and green

towering

rows of brown and green

towering

 

then trees

and I forgot about time before trees books

and school dances and soon

the miserable hour I spent with you

knowing it was the last hour

knowing it was not as miserable for you

 

Why has it has been raining

dogwood petals for weeks

botanists know

one search can tell me

her name

insane weather patterns

 

Onto my black hair

between my calloused fingertips

beneath my shoes

I learned my heart lives in

threes and I speak in

a second language of

pretending

 

not knowing how to speak

in firsts in goodness

not understanding how

the wise men could ever

walk away from that manager

knowing greatness would never

be their own again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samantha-Neugebauer

Samantha Neugebauer

Samantha is a member of the Editorial Board for the literary magazine Painted Bride Quarterly. PBQ is one of the USA’s longest running literary magazines. Prior to this, Samantha was the Associate Editor for She’s the First Poetry Anthology. She has also contributed poetry & fiction to various digital & print magazines & literary sites. In summer 2016, Samantha worked part-time as a Special Correspondent for AFAR magazine.

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