The woman, who is absent, sings inside her chamber. Look

          She decorates a mirror. Citrine. Slabs of marbled agate-blue

          And in this way, our wheel begins to turn the woman in her work.

Z        And as we’ve heard over the past five days, a gilded light
                                                                    departing stood for justice.

          No one spoke within a court of law, reversible or found.

          Wherein to tuck our testimonies subsequently falling
                                                                    through that hill, our voices

Y        filled that room.

          Onsite, each sunken note was conscious—climbing, therefore,
                                                                    parted—one before the other

          clef with latitude, each form of measurement which measured
                                                                    crimes of war using the other.

X       Thus we answered back our nation into action, action into bowls
                                                                    zapping each wire into place

          without each plastic in a bowl.

          Yes, it was very clear what happened.

          Upon that hill we held a crater with the rope and nail; reloading
W                                                                once what was a blade

          and sharpened pieces of white soap, as one began to speak
                                                                    in place of hands

          upon the mirror. Blue became the goat—con dê.

          Con ong became the bee, a warm—đu đủ—papaya would then
V                                                                  ripen.

          Yes, without a doubt, the woman split into our singing.

          Sun measured that instance zipping up a wire which was placed
                                                                    before our blast container.

          In conclusion, wherefore cutting up the glass, we felt
U                                                                 around for blades.

          Yes, it was very clear what happened on that hill.

          A restoration paved the goat inflected by its phalanx by a policy
                                                                    alone settling crimes;

          and settlement yielded a bridge, in Hội An, for example.
          In a year we would recall, clearly, what happened crossed
                                                                    over the bridge

          and read aloud a taxonomic growth—behavior knotting up
                                                                    our cherry trees;

          and what we needed was a stem to cut up all the wires
S                                                                  kneading at the goat,

          the throat of it, our sacrifice.

          To eat the bee, a xylophone imported from the highlands
                                                                    trenched into a rock,

          we matted formulas.
          Our formulations counted every ribbon.

          What we needed was a way out of the abscess, draining liquid
                                                                    with its pressure.

          Necessary, waning out the body, absently, we indicated yet
                                                                    what wobbled down
          survived that hill in 1966.

          That visible, as yet, that otherwise awake, quite happy now
                                                                    be alive; that dressed

          her selves, and Panda, too, brushing his several teeth;
                                                                    that dressed her selves,
          and Panda, making up the bed; that sung, for yet, a lilac
                                                                    for occasion; that much

          visible, as yet, to know its iteration; woman, absent, indicated
                                                                    order staggering up odysseys.

          Wherefore a testimonial had caved our last desire, almost nothing
O                                                                 shone.

          The marbled stone—

          The varnish by its motor grease or volumes inter-greasing—

          How we felt a rolling near the surface—

N       Wherein how we took the alphabet as ours—solicitation
                                                                    back to songs of solace

          rounding up the spirits wild and awoken,

          wizened by its thunder, sấm sét và mây, thus, withal but singing
                                                                    moving arm-in-arm

M       to exit clouds, a boneless place, a zone zigzagging toward
                                                                    that greater undertow.

          To tremble, teaming hearts, voluminously yowled bursting
                                                                    from a butterfly, we tugged

          at tinted sculptures up our hill, a xerographic print collapsing
          Tissue grassed a yellow sun yanking up everything.

          A yellow ray then waved its hollow arms, an ulcerated wood
                                                                    upon the catalogue of song.

          Our dance would thrum beneath each circumstance.

K       We posed such ultimatums:
                      i. We’d like to have the woman’s body back
                                                                    the one left on that hill.

                      ii. We’d like a second look at lacerations where they roped
                                                                    my ankles to the wall.

J                    iii. I’d like another vowel, please.

          Or terracing the form, or otherwise, her marginality of error, yes,
                                                                    we’d like my sandals, too.

          And afterwards, our freedom came to hold a price.

          The joyful shift in key; that verified divide and wondrous—
          I, between that vast collective, umber clamped upon my legs
                                                                    then pelvic bone; then quietly

          between her screams.

          We wrote the record of our trial, promised mercy.

H       Running bled utmost respectability for whom, we asked.

          For who could free us then?

          And stop the burning of our homes?

          And follow horror to the end of time?

G       And feign each purple heart to crystallize?

          And martial law, uranium?

          Even that hill, that room of marching cities felt vibrations
                                                                    puckering up grounds of—

          Rattled gods awake.
          That godless liberation—

                      i. Liberate us, sister. Liberate us in our static.

                      ii. Did you see the tank? And did you see our infants?
                                                                    They were thrown!

E                    iii. And thrown beneath my body, I was torn.

          And parsing out the truth, an element of bone torn yawning
                                                                    of our days, for we have

          dreamt so desperately of a love for, more or less, one thousand
                                                                    and four hundred years,

D       the magnitude toward which shadowed our masters into bone.

          And finally, what did you make from all our billion faces
                                                                    smiling in my orifice?

          What did you dig from me? And what was written for a soldier?

          Soldier, face me.
          Did you not think that your daughters and the daughters
                                                                    of your daughters

          would dare tremble? Hanging from our lips? Before our lips?

          Our lips revealing fangs?

B       And from this fang, did you not then begin to feel your sons?

          How do your sons inhabit apathy today?

          For you, alive, my killer—

          Sister—millions of faces in my faces—no, remember we have
                                                                    colored every memory
          from this, from which your children, ten-ten folding.

          Yes, for we must live squaring our faces through the wool-stitched
                                                                    fabric of our days;

          for we must send our bodies back.

          Remember what was done to us now moves through you
                                                                    whether you weep or not.

          Remember what was done to us commands no force
                                                                    beyond these trials laid out

          in this book.

          What one would therefore stabbed into our grounds, an odyssey
                                                                    in flames, that wretched scent

          of petrol offering this statement like a torch.

          Kneeling, then I stood. Standing behind me, men would kneel.

          Together near our stag tumbling down that hill became a bird.

          That hill then bird would stand behind me—warm
                                                                    beloved, near our sun.

          I woke, mama, and smiled.




Sophia Terazawa is a poet of Vietnamese-Japanese descent. She is the author of two chapbooks: Correspondent Medley (winner of the 2018 Tomaž Šalamun Prize, published with Factory Hollow Press) and I AM NOT A WAR (a winner of the 2015 Essay Press Digital Chapbook Contest). Her work appears in The Offing, Puerto del Sol, Poor Claudia, and elsewhere. She is a recent graduate of the MFA program in Poetry at the University of Arizona, where she also served as poetry editor for Sonora Review.