Today's poem is by Karen An-hwei Lee
My body isn't shaped like a violin, said the girl.
Curve in my hip isn't deep enough, profundo.
One blue world, my curve vanishes.
You aren't a violin, said her mother.
Curve of my body holds no water.
No invisible meridians, the hours, divide it.
My body isn't a cup for a pear blossom, said the girl.
My hips hold neither fruit nor rain. Succo dolce.
You are not a pear blossom, said her mother.
You are not a cup to drink.
My body isn't a pomegranate or bell, said the girl.
I am not studded with crimson seeds or a clapper.
Your body is neither flora, fauna, nor brass.
You are not a mountain range. Our voices,
ringing as one, are not the boat-laden rivers.
We are neither rain nor snow. Speak. I am
my mother's daughter, four summers old.
I am a strong girl, fourteen summers.
Who is my father? Where is this man
to invoke a girl's image of noon?
Now a woman of forty years opens this letter
without the pressure of metaphors
invoking paternal shadows,
absent figures of speech, veritas.
Copyright © 2012 Karen An-hwei Lee All rights reserved
from Phyla of Joy
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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