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.