They tear the village
off my scalp and leave
me defenseless. Bare,
bloody, and now I’m extinct.
Centuries later, I am
one million Januses.
My daughters and sons
don’t remember my name.
It’s Esperanza, Jamal,
Wei, or Ashley. Married
with Smith, Chin, Johnson,
My blood stains were dried on the land
beneath all of your feet, and so
I evaporated and I only speak
on stormy days.
I watch over my kids from the sky
as a dust particle. In the ocean as algae,
crying oxygen for ship wreckages
that contain the remains of my children.
I’m embracing you in piles when
they set you down in a box.
Praying for you on your
first birthday out of the canal.
Loving you with the memory
of my own blood dripping
down my nose and when
his sword ripped my belly open.
While I rotted away in my ruins,
I was counting the future
generations that will come
Knowing I will live
again and again.
By Maria Ng
Maria Ng is a New Yorker living in New Jersey. She spends her days writing, blogging about books and zines, and going to college. She often writes about mixed identity (Afro-Latina and Chinese), memories of family, living in New York, fearing of what’s going to happen in the future, relearning and forgetting languages, and lonely fictional people that are merely reflections of herself. She has an existential crisis every few months or so and is still unsure of what to do now.
She considers writing a form of healing, protest, and sometimes a violence towards your own self. She writes poetry but wishes to be a novelist. She doesn’t like to remember high school, especially the horrendous fiction and poetry she wrote for her creative writing class.
She has previously been published in Rasasvada, Paper Crown Magazine and some other zines.