Everything of that culture, laid across a
fantasy gateway, imagined color amid
a sea of monochrome. Fog condenses,
heavy in sorrow, saturating tracks laid
by missing fathers. Paper lanterns glow,
recalling dynamite that turned letters to
home into ash. Pacific mountain tombs,
photos of ribbon cuttings and half-truths,
poems carved into the Angel Island walls.
Everything of that culture—of the girls
whose bodies were bought and discarded,
of the paper sons who clambered out of
the smoking ruins of the city by the bay,
of the mourned. Of the perpetual foreigner
in quiescent resignation, of the quill that
etched into legislation the disfigurement
of heritage into hate, of the romanticized
gateway over which the blithe flag flies.
This is a reprint of work originally published in The Rising Phoenix Review.
Amy Liu is a high school student from Long Island, New York. Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the National Council of Teachers of English. Her poetry is found or forthcoming in The Rising Phoenix Review, Small Leaf Press, and more.