Everything of that culture, laid across a
fantasy gateway, imagined color amid
a sea of monochrome. Fog condenses
heavy in sorrow, saturating tracks laid
by missing fathers. Paper lanterns glow,
recalling dynamite that turned letters to
home into ash. Pacific mountain tombs,
photos of ribbon cuttings and half-truths,
poems carved into the Angel Island walls.
Everything of that culture — of the girls
whose bodies were bought and discarded,
of the paper sons who clambered out of
the smoking ruins of the city by the bay,
of the mourned. Of the perpetual foreigner
in quiescent resignation, of the quill that
etched into legislation the disfigurement
of heritage into hate, of the romanticized
gateway over which the blithe flag flies.
By Amy Liu
Amy Liu is a high school student and an aspiring writer. She has been awarded National Gold and Silver medals for poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and serves as the news, science, and arts and entertainment editor of the Kaleidoscope newspaper.