By: Carolyn Nakagawa
The new world
Dear summertime, I don’t know the Musqueam word for strawberry, or if there are buttercups in Japan. For me, you have always been that short July season of reddest, yielding flesh, and the fields turned golden. There are so many things I would un-discover if I ever left home for good. I’m learning to sift through layers of history, grazing sediments of calculated heartlessness. Glittering glass shards that carve my perception. I didn’t know we were so broken. And still I can lie in the greenest grass and search for deep points of azure, never seeing the boats that carried my ancestors, that broke their backs with building, that sat in harbours, or any part of the ocean I grew up knowing about. If we put the prism back together, would it stay this bright? Could we thread it all through again, would we be happy to talk about purity. About words that hurt no one. Can we still have strawberries. Can I tell you about buttercups. What I call them.
CAROLYN NAKAGAWA is a yonsei Japanese Canadian poet and playwright, who recently graduated from UBC English literature with a minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migra- tion Studies. Her poems have been published by QWERTY, The Maynard, and Echolocation; play production highlights include UBC Players Club, Brave New Play Rites, and a staged reading with Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre’s MSG Lab.
This Asian Index was featured in issue 20.2
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