Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry
Issue 2 | Winter 2011

clenched fisted—never let anything pass,
new life grows deep roots, nourished from that which we let go.
what we hold tight demolishes us from root to blood to bud to fruit;
contorts us into shapeless wreckage.

you live on the city veins, calibrate murmurs—
palpitations according to the rigidity of difference
written on tongues, on palms, on skins

what orchard's water did your heart drink?

day loosens its skin into night—and i will cry
with you, because the world can be so beautiful,
i will cry with you, until my skin loses shape.

the lost loves of the pregnant, the earnest, the generous,
the forgiving, daughters, crushed beyond lifetime
their songs will be sung the whole world over.

allahumma ighfir lihayyinaa, wa mayyitinaa, wa shaddhidinaa, wa gha--ibinaa, wa
sagheerinaa, wa kabeerinaa, wa dhakarinaa wa unthaanaa.

assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullai wa baraktaatuh

forgive those of us that are alive and those of us that are dead;
those of us that are present, and those who are absent,
young, and adults; male and female

may peace and mercy be upon you

let it be that may we learn to forgive the living.