Issue 5 / Poetry

Poetry by Sophia Terazawa

Sukhumvit Soi 11


Composing a march of stilettos,

the pot-bellied men trail girls

who look like me through Bangkok.


Pale as cauliflower heads are fists

shoved deep in their trouser pockets,

fingering, perhaps, their appetites.


Like a rod and her anglerfish,

the girls who look like me float

before these lonely pot-bellies,


who waddle unanchored, bald

shriveled, and pink, their hands

not once leaving their pockets.



Lustful Bodies Reincarnate


At the border, we offered large sums of garlands,

assembled helicopter parts, downed tangerines in each fist,

lobbing fine pulp grenades.


Near the temple, we pulled another out by its ankles,

like tears running a sieve, and I was pregnant with steel wishes

from Sài Gòn.


My arms waved us through. They were prongs at a gate,

fighting your lust for jungle juice and gentle ladies, your gifts

for Siam―


a lamb, tall mirrors, your muscles at the gate. My,

the beast can walk.


I AM the specter laid flat, the jasmine earth and fangs,

swallowing your laws and nuclear waste. I spit upon your mirrors.

The beast will rise,


and I will rise. Taste this skin, this tongue, this ash, maim

this blood of bone.



Sophia E. Terazawa is a poet and performer of Vietnamese-Japanese descent. Her work appears in Perigee (Apogee Journal), Hysteria, The Fem, Project As[I]Am, and elsewhere. Selected by Oliver de la Paz.

Image © chem7 via Flickr Creative Commons.