My thigh crushes someone else’s thigh
as we bang the corner by Chowking.
We share leg space when there’s none.
The wind whips in from the window
that’s gone & we breathe the same
polluted air. People pile in & don’t stop.
Every stranger could be my sister
or nephew & is. Not by blood perhaps
pero by country––7,000 islands
that’s ours & isn’t. Two boys hang
off the tailgate for miles
& they’re my kin. I haven’t seen them
since Japan invaded, since my grandpa
climbed on a ship to anywhere else.
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.