My poetry tumblr: http://sintrayda.tumblr.com/

every day, feminism

in the mornings, i compose
my feminity like a poem.
like the witch who kept
her face in a jar,
i make up my mask
with ritual motion, with prayer, with spell
mirror, mirror, what do you see
make me a woman / but make me free

“ni hao, faggot” says the lip-smacking man on the metro
staring down the front of my dress,
i wonder if he’s looking for a dick between my legs
or maybe salvation between my breasts.
either way, i think this ends
with wine, blood, crucifixion.
O metro man, Iscariot mine,
what have you lost? what will you find?
there’s a map of the orient under my tongue,
when i turn to terra-cotta,
you can jump my dragon bones.
can you love something
that you don’t own?

whether you work the street or the runway,
a femme who wants to get what she deserves’
gotta rock high heels and the boat,
the way my father always said
was gonna get me in trouble someday. white girls raped
in college, trans girls murdered by the dozen every year,
Indigenous girls vanished
on the highway, Black girls shot up by the fuzz – every
way you look at it, the body’s a battleground
for any woman, though not every woman
is my girl-in-arms.
and ain’t i a soldier?
we’ve got to pick our battles, ladies.
which war is yours?

sinking into bed with my man,
i remember reading audre lorde for the first time
on how for some, survival is a revolutionary act,
at the time i wondered,
what does that make suicide?
but the age of angst is over, at least for me,
these days i’m
committed to living, for as long as it lasts.
witch work, i weave
my fingers over my boyfriend’s skin, his hair,
his nipples, his cock, almost clawing,
like i lost a woman in his body
and my salvation lies
in setting her free.
the man’s the mirror, the mirror’s the man,
tell us who’s fairest
once and for all.

diaspora babies

diaspora babies, we
are born of pregnant pauses/spilled
from unwanted wombs, squalling invisible-ink poems/written in the margins of a map
of a place called No Homeland
old gong gong honoured uncle is the man i won’t become/BBQ pork-scented sorrow and red bean paste buns/he sold on street corners in Chinatown, handing out sweetbread and stories/for seventy-five cents each/offering red meat and red hands stained by the winter wind’s violence/as the Goddess of Mercy watched/pitying/ from her curb-side altar

diaspora bodies, we/wrap lips around pregnant pauses/spill
salt fluids from unwanted bodies, squalling invisible-ink poetry/written in the margins
of a map of a place called No Homeland
my boy makes me breakfast the morning after/he’s the air i breathe/love-flavoured oxygen, i taste him everywhere/sun-dried orange peel candy/like the kind my father used to bring on car trips/the colour of his skin:brown, salty-sweet/we gorge ourselves on love, not thinking about tomorrow/there’s never enough time/to make you full/never enough flesh to fill your skin/we open our mouths for stories/for sun-tinted histories/swallow each other whole

diaspora secrets, we/enclose in pregnant pauses/write on the walls
of unwanted wombs/invisible-ink poems in the margins of bodies/living out a map of a place called
No Homeland
red’s the color of my mother’s scars/as though the Goddess of Mercy went finger-painting across my mother’s face/a mask made of Things We Don’t Talk About/there some stories that are never told/but known nonetheless/we bake them into bread, fill buns with secrets like sweet lotus paste/”what can’t be cured must be endured”/”chinese families don’t talk about our feelings, we wash them down with pork”/do as you are told, child/eat what’s in your bowl/swallow it, bitter or sweet/some violence, we keep inside our bodies/scar tissue/”what love? the kind they show in guei lo films? chinese women don’t speak of love/we know that people will laugh at us”/some bodies can’t be touched/some poems cannot be written/just felt

diaspora haunted, we/hunt for pregnant pauses/give birth from unwanted yellow wombs/bodies like invisible-ink poems/ghost babies drawing maps in the margins/of a place called No Homeland

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