Bone and Yearn

                        -the gentrifier:
                        him

I taught middle school English in Oakland
over the summer, an emerald wave hovering
in the air. The hummingbird’s grace under
madman law. There was never gold in our souls
or pockets, only in his bone and yearn. He threw
dice on a city of rust and dust; abandoning his old-boy-
hand-shake, inhaling the street treasures of forgotten
people. Every night that summer, I lived on top of orange
blossoms bursting in the valley, sunsets pouring from the sky: fire
fire      fire. Every morning standing in front of ghost
mirrors, you he used to call us a box full of empty
there sat wearing made-in-America suede, lemon
drops in your his right fist. Teach me the art of sweet
then. Our battered limbs, rooted plants fearless of
fire.

Kou Sugita lives in Los Angeles, CA, and was born in Sapporo, Japan. A former assistant editor at Hiram Poetry Review, his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in AAWW’s The Margins, The Ofi Press Magazine, Zoomoozophone Review, and elsewhere. He has been nominated for Best of the Net and is also a recipient of the Vachel Lindsay Poetry Prize from Hiram College. Sugita is currently a senior at Pitzer College.

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