The Wind from Home

Performed at “To Hear From Us,” an event organised by Lapu the Coyote that Cares Theatre Company at UCLA, held in honour of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The Wind from Home

A poem by Haruka Aoki

In the afternoon
You came to me
A tunnel of coolness
Snapped my spine awake

How far you have come
To meet me here
Just to brush my hair

You say
How long it has grown
Blow the strands around my ears
Leaving a thin coat of salt

I want to tell you
Sit, sit
You must be so tired
Come have tea with me

But you
Have already left

Around and around you go
An infinite spiral
Beating masts that flap above
Rows and rows of fingers
That clutch onto photos of their Beloved

You brush through forest fires
Choke on the smoke
Of gender reveal parties

And I wonder

Were you the one
Shaking the trees when I screamed the boy away
Your hand
Was never supposed to be there

Were you the one Carrying the bird above me
When I took my last breath
Trying to remember the face of my daughter
Who in thirty years
Would chew on hard grains of rice
Desperate to process my death

Were you the one
Circling the four wheeler
When you pushed my head down
And told me to pretend
That I did not exist

And now after an eternity
You play with my hair

You, with your salt and fish and
Horrors and dreams
You carry it all
And you
Have already left

How far you’ve come
To meet me here
Just to brush my hair