S a r a  H u g h e s


K i y o k o

I.

Father burned our hut
when I said goodbye. The same
hands that built our home

destroyed it, sheet by
paper sheet. Rage spread dark red
on his sallow cheeks.

Against empty breasts
my half-gaijin baby screamed.
Ashes choked the night.

II.

I left my home torn.
Thomas-san’s baby held tight
to my arms. We sailed.

My husband said Don’t
look back. I did. Asahi’s
mountains sunk into

black ground. America
gave me no freedom. Strangers
whipped me with their tongues.


























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