O mga Kasama

A landlord drinks gin from a drum of oil & you’re in a sad city

near a nurse who isn’t a nurse––her hands shipped across water

pero not her degree. Our greatest export isn’t mango or fish—

it’s our mothers. You’re everywhere they are & could be.

Dubai, Hong Kong, a couch coughing of cigarette smoke.

You’re everywhere our people need our people. Someone

misses our archipelago & you build a boat. You steer waves

where Gabriela was born––her fists, a thousand hills.

O comrade, I saw a pot of cloudy rice water & thought of you.

I saw a graveyard of pink tupperware lids & thought of you.

We fit five on a tricycle & burn through the province.


Troy Osaki is a Filipino Japanese poet, community organizer, and attorney from Seattle, WA. A three-time grand slam poetry champion, he has earned fellowships from Kundiman and the Jack Straw Cultural Center and grant awards from Artist Trust and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. His work has appeared in the Bellingham Review, Blood Orange Review, Hobart, and elsewhere. He writes in hopes to build a safe and just place to live in by uniting the people and reimagining the world through poetry.