Two Poems

Christopher Rose

"Surreal" by Emilio Venegas Jr.  (Credit:  TAYO   Issue One)

"Surreal" by Emilio Venegas Jr. (Credit: TAYO Issue One)



Filipino boys have the same stories
as Black boys.

Maybe, in the shadows
cast by streetlamps,

maybe they thought your skin
was just a little darker.

Maybe that’s why
after the white boys beat you,
Portland PD came, claimed
you were an endangerment.

Maybe you shouldn’t have tried
to flag down a car.

Maybe they thought
they were LAPD.

Maybe San Diego.

Maybe they believed
you could break the handcuffs.

Maybe that’s why
they tazed you twice.

Maybe when you joke
that you’re Manny Pacquiao,
maybe your mother will smile.

Maybe, she thinks, the judge will be lenient.

Maybe that flag turns women into maids
and prostitutes.

And your mother,
who may be my mother,
cries to a judge
and pleads that you’re a good one.

Deception Pass

  1. the great TransPacific lie

  2. narrow strait between Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands

  3. old prison rock quarry worked by inmates of local state penitentiary

  4. bridge just high enough for veterans to end a war early

  5. former military reserve

  6. home to eagles that nest in giant oaks along the cliffs who then circle and dive into standing waves and white whirls upon the tide

  7. popular site for wedding proposals

  8. place where Navy men in uniform pack their Filipina wives into suitcases and toss them into the water below


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