"Someone Said 'Immigranty'"
Priority two-day mail envelope
from my parents
Persimmons slick and bundled
in bubble wrap
Just a single ruined
Stack them into baby pyramids on the counter, in the fridge, slice them into orange shards, on toast.
Tear into each bit until the stem whistles
What they taught to not waste our waste
To fish our kidshit out of the toilet
To bury beneath the lemon tree the calamansi the persimmon
The package bite into the skin taste the wasted the wanted of childhood
"A piñata party at the end of the alley"
Strung from one end of the dumpster to the laundry line
How we improvise the kindness of cars swerving in the other direction
I'm willful in front of the mirror breaking into pieces I gather and eat like candy
Tamarindo Sharp tear on the roof of the tongue This is how we Immigranty
My mother washing styrofoam trays where she defrosted chicken Still good
Still good We don't get e.coli We had worms But everyone had them Pulling them out of
someone a sister a neighbor This is how we love each other telling each other push with
two hands not plugging our noses
Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California. She is the author of God's Will for Monsters (Inlandia, 2017), which won an American Book Award in 2018 and the 2016 Hillary Gravendyk Regional Poetry Prize. She co-edited Kuwento: Lost Things, an anthology of Philippine Myths (Carayan Press, 2015) with Melissa Sipin. Her most recent book, Experience Comics: An Introduction to Reading, Discussing and Creating Comics, was published in September 2018. She hosts The Blood-Jet Writing Hour with Muriel Leung. An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives and writes in Southern California.