I am my mother’s only daughter
though I refuse to shave
or waste money on anything that’s labia pink and promises to make me shimmer
with the mythos of a virgin’s guarantee of love everlasting.
People say I should find a rich man and clasp my hands all dainty and pretty-
tell him YES stop scrawling my own mythology.
I find my poetry in the skim milk thighs of a girl with ornamental summer bruises
scattered about the kneecaps.
It’s so much better than suburban serenity.
My mother wants to see my writing.
I know I confuse her sometimes
and it kills me.
I am the clapboard garden right off the highway
when all she wanted was a second generation Rose.
ma-ma arrived in Queens in ‘94 folded like a paper crane, stuffed against a shipping crate that was supposed to be for silk,
a cockroach smeared against her calf.
one-bedroom apartment, sandwiched between an ice bath and a crack house, after kindergarten I asked ba-ba what a chink and gook was, which made him
shake something deep, something pale.
eighteen years deep, in sixth grade social studies where our desks were strung up in a ring because this was a progressive classroom and
during the Japanese unit: Mrs. Lizer: “in your experience, Cammie, has this resonated—”
me: “I’m Chinese.”
f i e l d n o t e s
issue no. 002 out now
An extended view photograph of my town’s courthouse.
Artist: Shar Shastri
Medium: Acrylic paint and ink
Skeletal structure self-portrait by Shar Shastri