Thursday, August 23, 2012

War Poem (August 23rd Revision)

Sadly this is a poem that continues to unravel, and those of us with voice and rage and open hearts must keep the story front and center. Stronger and stronger, our voices togeher.

There’s a war going on just underneath my skin
a quiet, harrowing war of the unspeakable
a war unsought. Never lost, never won.

A mole under my left eye, eternal tear
weeping for a flock of American soldiers
who killed all the husbands but spared my skin.

The space between my legs burns of
blunt blades, pointed fingers, savage laws of 
men in loin cloths, sacred robes and tailored suits. 

Under my knee, a gash from the weary fall of grandmothers
whose solider husbands marched to their deaths leaving
widows and orphans to see their liberation from the Japanese

Dynasties of fabric seeking the perfect lotus
feet bend my arches into breaking, making
each step excruciating.

On my left cheek, a disapproving brother’s signature
marked in acid, proud announcement to the world
little sister is a dirty girl not worthy of dowry.

Beneath my breasts, lungs damaged in the fall
down the well in the woods when fathers
wanted only Chinese baby boys.

A thousand bastard mongrel babies fathered by friars
cysts in my left ovary now severed by a doctor
marking forever the female parts of my childless body.

The cries trapped in the voiceless throats 
Of my kin forced into sex slavery in Syria
form a lump on my forearm, my wartime purple heart.

My left pinky finger bends at at point 
where the blade barely missed the lawbreaking 
painted nails offending Taliban sensibility.

In the dead of night, even today you still hear, “Magdalene, 
Asking for It, Virgin, Puta, Illegitimate Rape Victim,
Slut." There, just there. There's a war going on.