Two Poems

Brandon Shimoda



The child immigrant has a parasite
The child immigrant cannot travel
The child immigrant was going to travel
The ocean parasite
A small nerve weaving proofs
Through purpling organs
Delight The child immigrant pulled out
Inspiration, I thought
The oceans I am
Going to travel
The ocean together
For the parasite’s homebody
The child immigrant drinks the ocean
Not that banishment would be the price of satisfaction
Small nerve implantation
House is burning House was already burning
The moment I left I recognized nothing
Does that mean to the ground? Burning, burning
Mirror-like salutations before the future
I will reach and pass into
Refraction of burning
Hosts consummating


I must be a child, there must be a boat
I must be a child getting on a boat
The sun must shine, must it be the sun?
There must be a home a parasite shines
Circles about and out of my head
Flooding circles out of my head over the ocean
Shadows of circles out of my head over the ocean
On the shadow of my head moving over the ocean




In the morning I buy pineapple
The first relief
I feel coming again
When I get home, there are five pineapples
Shame. I am ninety. I stay away
With pineapple on the sand


A uniform comes along. I put it on
There’s no blood standard as the moon
Downcast in purple water
Want to live inside my shoulder?
Demure between us
Pineapple’s fetus


I stick my fingers in the fleshes
Heartier than mine, though what’s the smell?
Pineapple soaked in petrol sun
And salt to set the table
Legs swinging underneath are more than
Heat off the convulsion


I look at my breasts in the mirror
My breasts belong to father’s mother, mother’s to great-grandmother
Brother’s hair belongs to father
He gets the hair, I get the breasts
Does that mean I have to have a granddaughter
For these breasts to be my own?


Brandon Shimoda is in between—ages, books, countries, houses, people, places … His book Evening Oracle—poems written in Japan, plus excerpts from letters to/from family and friends—is new this Fall from Letter Machine Editions.