ghazal for asian americans By Karina Fantillo

ghazal for asian americans

laid transcontinental railways crouched as denied americans
skin reeks of manure from stables where resided americans

raised to bow or pagmamano our elders not knock
them down like mahjong from behind in america

disease helixes fevered globe gagging gasps
a virus isn’t chinese asian or mine america

no yellow bellies we stand bruised indigo to stop
hiss on spider silk hair as slanted eyes blind america

i was a dear little girl white woman clutched her child’s
hand when in my brown face she couldn’t find america

By Karina Fantillo


Karina immigrated with her family at the age of 9 to San Francisco, where she learned about Philippine and American culture through folk dancing. Karina writes poems in lower case and minimizes punctuation as a stand against the infrastructures that deprived her of learning her native language and history in an American colony.

Karina’s poems have appeared or is forthcoming in the San Francisco Public Library, The Racket, Eunoia Review, Night Music, where she was the featured writer for the issue. She was a poetry fellow before graduating with an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco.

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