Three Poems

Sophia Terazawa



November loves you, but we don’t need your money.
Oh, Ziprasidone, keep us away.
He gave me a bear, and I named it Ginger.
Stay with me now.

                               November loves you, but an exorcism is not covered by our


                               Try again. What is the last thing you remember?


He gave me a bear, and I named it Ginger.




                               I remember being the “first Asian,” and I remember because he
                               said I was his “first Asian,” and I think at the time it was supposed
                               to make me feel special.


Try again.


                               My legs were like a double helix. I unraveled in the mouth, and in
                               the movie EX MACHINA, Kyoko failed to reap her body, and in
                               my body I stored the code, the code of obedience, tonguing, and
                               racist imagination, but I suppose this is not covered by our health
                               insurance, too.


Try again.


                               How do you say this in your language?


                               “Gari” is the Japanese word for a young ginger that has been sliced
                               and marinated. After the pickling process, gari takes on a light pink
                               hue, like the inside of a cunt or the peeled human flesh of Nagasaki
                               in 1945. Take your pick.



Armadillo in fifth grade sex-ed
the lone star and Alamo, Kotex
what little house on the prairie
what Davy Crockett bounty
Derek Brown said I was damned
since angels did not look like me
what should I do to get into heaven
what lighter hair dye should we try
and when I finally get my period
should I hide the cursed color too
it’s a lie when you say that all girls
bleed the same because in America
we are all not fucked the same
when there are this many slurs
for a body in exile and perhaps
Derek thought I was a fallen angel
so decisively American so girl so
yellow so identifiably not-white
so blue like the mystery liquid
dribbled upon a sanitary pad
to show how we all cycle in little
covert ways but that is a lie too
if my pelvis was a sieve would it
crack when I hit the desert running
would it go down in McGraw-Hill
as the comet that took out Austin
and would my scalp be captioned
a streak of ash in the saddle ranch sky
I don’t know how to tell you
but we were this close to flying
and I let you go so it would not hurt
to split that close at hand
take my spirit take it take…
I was the fistful of stars called my legs
and we were the fits of rage no one could see
but here we leapt like suns in motion
don’t I have the right to combust
don’t I have the right to bleed 


Yellow rose like a bonfire or the Tale of Genji,
its spine two inches thick, a string of carnations,
men in the woods making fairy tales out of deer,
their heads on spikes, eyes black like mine…
                               Try again.
Here is my ribcage, and here is the twig running through it.
If you step here, the chest will invert, and out will rise
a shackled, leathery thing, this beast who carries my face,
marked with coal and a crown of bones, unfurls its wings.
Expose. Intend to kill.
Isn’t this what you wanted? Oh, I misunderstood.


Sophia Terazawa is the author of I AM NOT A WAR, winner of the 2015 Essay Press Chapbook contest. As a Vietnamese-Japanese poet and performer working with ghosts, her work (text, film, music, dance, etc.) have been featured in places like The James Franco Review, Project As[I]Am, The Fem, HYSTERIA, Apogee Journal (Perigee), and elsewhere. Currently, she is a columnist for THE DECOLONIZER, where she writes about love and intimacy as radical healing practice. Please visit her website at