Work Is a Replica of the Abusive Home By Sammi Yamashiro

Work Is a Replica of the Abusive Home

Molecules in the air conditioning arouse
certain sordid intentions, along the realm of
kidnapping, of bribery.

What business do I have here?
I am merely the monkey wedged between this custody battle,
detained inside the cooking pot.
My sweat is the condensation,
the fighter jets tearing down the crepuscular roof.
An earthquake simulates, triggers a tornado warning.

Ring away, fire alarms!
Poppy petals unzip their petticoats—
the homes! mere concrete,
hotbox the carbon monoxide. We are all in this together,
ordered to quarantine in its musk.
This is our reliable shelter-in-place,

for a grander apocalypse awaits outdoors, my love.
We could never comprehend what nature has to offer.
Our man-made facilities erect themselves with structure.

A brick, or several hundred, have ran astray, sure,
but learn gratitude, child— at least it’s something.

At least it’s familiar.

By Sammi Yamashiro


Sammi Yamashiro began her poetry journey in high school and has had multiple poems featured in several anthologies (Train River Publishing, Sunday Mornings at the River). She self-published her poetry collection “The Peach Pit Mask”, which reached #1 in New Releases in Asian American Poetry on Amazon Kindle. You can read her writing on Instagram (@sammiyamashiro) or visit her website ( to find more of her work.

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