Sasha Pimentel Chacon Oct 10, 2008 15:59:19 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 15:59:19 GMT 2
Sasha Pimentel Chacon
Born in Manila, Philippines and author of the forthcoming book of poems Insides She Swallowed (West End Press, 2009), Sasha Pimentel Chacón is the poetry editor of BorderSenses. An Academy of American Poets Award winner, a recent multiple Pushcart Prize nominee and a Philip Levine fellow, her work has appeared in Colorado Review, The Florida Review, New South, OCHO, The Dos Passos Review, and In The Grove, among others. She currently lives in El Paso, Texas.
"Wanted: Encyclopedia Missing From Move"
I lost the Ws once. Walnuts, Wagner, a warble.
Lost the Wampanoag Indians, their wampum,
the peak I climbed which started with a W
its fissures breaking open
before breath. There was the West
Lawn (a borough just west of Reading,
population 2,059), Walla Walla, Washington,
then even the weeping willow left, and a willow
pattern from Mama's hutch. And wasn't there
a bird? I swear I saw it once, wings sleek
and blue last time I saw my grandfather, who
I forgot again and again. The ocean wide.
I wanted to lose water. My daughter.
I wanted to miss words and get others back: Wala na...
(Translation: all gone).
Mostly I wanted Grandfather's name back, hollow
in my tonsil. But I lost witness. And I became
the worm, the wood, a wound
my wholeness lifted.
Once, Grandfather had a blade. I saw him
ripping in two, open, the body
of a coconut: how sweet milk ran into his hands.
Sister streaming in
a hankie from the vulva:
face of two drops
of blood, body of circling
fingertips, you are
the geography of Mother's
inner body, her map
drawn out in the fall
of lining, tissue, matter
Sister before me
Sister never finished:
I will spend a life
time tracing the vessel
back to your cry.
Two. On the Phone with Her Mother, the Filipina Remembers Her Own Lost Child.
Three oceans are missing.
The one which birthed me
the one my mother carried
the last flushed away
from my open body.
I heard it wailing
in the vacuum, a shore of sound.
My eyes lolled back, I went to sleep.
Listen to what I want
to tell you. Once
I had a daughter
my mother says. I don't
know if she means me or someone
before me. Pain is language, immigrants
are not to be trusted.
We create distance
like the space between our
palms, easy as light and shadow. Listen.
I had a daughter once.
I heard her shouting
in the ear of a shell.