a do-do poem

diaper, changing sheet, wipes
armed with my three-pack
i’m safe

except do-do don’t always work like dat
safe
sometimes it just runs.
its own course
swiftly saturating all white space
super absorbent polymer my ass
flooding elastic gathering yellow
squeezing from sides
pushing past tape
sloshing around baby’s back
streaming down baby’s legs

But
waterproof changing sheet can put a stop to this
do-do don’t learn how to go through dat yet
but do-do know to make the baby wiggle at the wrong angle
and land where the sheet don’t cover

then wipes alone can’t help
Wash.
Everything.

soak baby clothes and bed sheet now now
in hot hot water
tackle this bright, stubborn, staining yellow
bathe naked, screaming, sleepy baby

fresh clothes
fresh sheets
put baby to sleep
change soaking water
wash stained clothes
once?

do-do do know how to direct your day.

Tears of what?

I wrote this ‘poem’ as an assignment for The Writer’s Studio Online. The assignment was to take an object and tell its story.

I put it off for weeks. Then I sat down with my object, so I could get my one point for posting to the discussion. As I wrote the last line and thought of the many things one thinks about when thinking of herself as ‘foreign’, I felt an unexpected urge to cry.

But no one cries in Starbucks. Least of all a black woman wearing a burgundy sweater and a headscarf with all the colors in the world, in this winter of navy, black and brown.


Untitled

Black dust

Brown flakes

Some once perfect spirals

Now broken from being shuffled around

Then cramped inside

This blue drum with three different blades pointing down the middle

 

Which of these flakes made way for the perfect point to write 質

To help execute the mild flourish for the thin upper strokes

What dust was shed after erasing and rewriting れ for the fifth time

And still seeing that a sixth would be necessary

 

Black dust stuck to the blades

Black dust in the corners of the blue drum

Black dust in the crevices of the screws pinning the blades to their white holdings

 

Is there a perfect pencil to write kanji

Lol, no. But I think you can try No.2

 

Rows and rows of packs and packs of No.2 pencils

No fewer than 12 in one pack!

One row of sharpeners

Choose quickly before the baby wakes up

Blue because not pink

Three-way because, well it must be better than one-way

Only 100 yen

 

Black dust

Brown flakes

Metal blades

White holdings

Blue drum

White lid

Holding the errors of a foreign fist

20181227_134834773