学习啦 诗盈 2018-12-07 14:11:55
Making a Fist
For the first time， on the road north of Tampico，
I felt the life sliding out of me，
a drum in the desert， harder and harder to hear.
I was seven， I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.
"How do you know if you are going to die?"
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered，
"When you can no longer make a fist."
Years later I smile to think of that journey，
the borders we must cross separately，
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die， who am still living，
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions，
clenching and opening one small hand.
Man and Wife
Tamed by Miltown， we lie on Mother's bed;
the rising sun in war paint dyes us red;
in broad daylight her gilded bed-posts shine，
abandoned， almost Dionysian.
At last the trees are green on Marlborough Street，
blossoms on our magnolia ignite
the morning with their murderous five days' white.
All night I've held your hand，
as if you had
a fourth time faced the kingdom of the mad
its hackneyed speech， its homicidal eye
and dragged me home alive. . . .Oh my Petite，
clearest of all God's creatures， still all air and nerve：
you were in our twenties， and I，
once hand on glass
and heart in mouth，
outdrank the Rahvs in the heat
of Greenwich Village， fainting at your feet
too boiled and shy
and poker-faced to make a pass，
while the shrill verve
of your invective scorched the traditional South.
Now twelve years later， you turn your back.
Sleepless， you hold
your pillow to your hollows like a child;
your old-fashioned tirade
loving， rapid， merciless
breaks like the Atlantic Ocean on my head.
Mama, Come Back
Mama， come back.
Why did you leave
now that I am learning you?
The landlady next door
how she apologizes
for my rough brown skin
to her tenant from Hong Kong
as if I were her daughter，
as if she were you.
How do I say I miss you
your roast loin of pork
more succulent， more tender
than any hotel chef's?
The fur coat you wanted
making you look like a polar bear
and the mink-trimmed coat
I once surprised you
on Christmas morning.
Mama， how you said "importment"
your gold tooth flashing
an insecurity you dared not bare，
simply as eating noodles
and riding in a motor car
to the supermarket
the movie theater
adorned in your gold and jade
as if all your jewelry
confirmed your identity
a Chinese woman in America.
How you said "you better"
always your last words
glazed through your dark eyes
following me fast as you could
one November evening in New York City
how I thought "Hello， Dolly!"
showed you an America
you never saw.
How your fear of being alone
kept me dutiful in body
resentful in mind.
How my fear of being single
from moving out.
How I begged your forgiveness
after that one big fight
how I wasn't wrong
but needed you to love me
as warmly as you hugged strangers.