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From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 87, Spring 2005, New Moon

Saturday, May 31, 2014 9:11 PM

Triggers for June 2014:

1. in a few short hours, the sun will be rising
      From “Leaving Kalihi,” by Cedric Yamanaka

2. he never takes his eyes off the
      From “Sakaula,” by Emelihter Kihleng

3. here – here – wait – wait – where stay?
      From “One Nada Voice,” by Gary Pak

4. we were one of the very few people
      From “Star Mokihana,” by Stu Hada

5. some dreams are just that, dreams
      From “Mango Lessons,” by Michael Little

6. he laughed again
      From “In the Time Before Light,” by Ian MacMillan

7. what do they do?
      From “Cane Fire,” by Naoto Nakashima

8. “I understand,” I said
      From “Husbands and Wives,” by Kenny Tanemura

From “How I learned to Write My Name,” by Brandy Nalani McDougall

It is 1981 Kula,
and my father, cloudy and high on booze
and pakalolo, for all his love songs
of rain and the mountain mist in unable
to stay. My mother, unable to leave
him, showers, during his frantic search
through her purse for money, clattering loose
change against house keys, for any green bill
with a face. As an afterthought, he turns,
concerned now with my witness, young eyes. Hunched
over the kitchen table, I scribble
nonsense. He bribes, “I’ll give you a dollar
if you don’t tell.” I won’t. But I pretend
not to hear him, going on with the scratch,
scrawling the illegible string of loops
I insist is real writing. He doesn’t
bother to yell. He has no time for it,
knows he must leave before the sound of warm
water, unsteady thumps against the tub
and her skin stops.

. . .


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