Duffel Bag Girl By Sammi Yamashiro

Duffel Bag Girl

It is August 26, 2019: I rush through Naha Airport to board my plane to Narita, then to Houston…

Never was a…
Never was a…

Semifluid coagulation, concealed by an orange rind. 
My hips pocket my pulp
fiction, revolutionized.

What gaudy contents! 

                     Desiccated raisin of a torso;

                     My shoulder, a coat rack, balances the duffel—

                     barely secured on that waxing crescent moon.

                     It is I, bolstering the single ton, 

                                                                        all on my own.

Hush now, fellow passengers: a baptism is in session.  

                                                 Let this be the lesson:

The TSA agents hack
at my dermis with their x-ray gaze.
Performing an exorcism, the deepest cleansing.

Bleach the layers of my cake, clean-cut.
Annihilate my enamel, corner up the blanket
till you expose my nail beds.

You are the colonizers ransacking 
the beniimo fields, hurling molotovs at Shuri Castle.
A fifth time wasn’t good enough?

Underneath my rubble lies the hymns of Heaven.
Hatch out of your egg, my blinding song!
You moths follow the crumbs to my sticky light.

Christ has crossed my heart with His 
scarlet thumb. A message 
bleeds forth: Do not hope to die.

                     Another chance is your fundamental right.

                     So onward, girl!

                     Your neighborhood’s stowed safe 

                     in your duffel bag, in the pocket

                     of your hips.

My shriveled-up Sequoia forests
leap across tectonic plates. Away from this greenhouse mess.

A refugee who will not plead—
a title that fits my fingertips!
This feels illegal. This entrances me.

I shall gladly do time. 

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 (sammiyamashiro.com) to find more of her work.

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