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Dirge for an Immigrant

Dirge for an Immigrant

grief flew

across the Atlantic on an isolated journey

to plummet down like a dysfunction

into the heart of a nation of stripes and

stars of promise

beautiful land, 美國,

that’s what we call the soaring landscapes,

tumbling hills tapped like monsoon water flowing

into green-grass pastures,

just a mile away are effervescent desires,

a high-rise hedonistic Hail Mary

for those back East who the rich ones called farmers

back home, they scrambled for

plows and axes, afternoon sun or dusky rain

a trace of dirt underneath fingernails,

hoping that it would promise grain

when mouths in a family were ravenous

but there is nothing but bark to peel from elmwood,

no bite, only the gratuitous grit that

begs a migration

so a 爺爺 packs his bags in 1849,

shuts his suitcase full of pickaxes

tool primed to chip away

at stone for months on end, waiting

for that golden glimmer of gluttony