The Asian American Student Organization ZINE (aaso_zine) wrote,
The Asian American Student Organization ZINE

Black White and Topaz - By Danielle Trierweiler '07-'08

The flickering of CNN on an empty chair
various bulges and caverns remain where thighs, buttocks,  and tailbone once relieved the stress of  three flights of stairs and San Francisco hills painful when you weren’t
shuffling across the moss carpet you achieved zen
stacking coins so neatly you valued each cent
because each coin promised “Liberty” stating“In God We Trust”
heavy words now tossed to blind men in alleys forced into cheap trinket machines marked “Made in Japan”  chopsticks and rice seemed reason enough to be associated with the Rising Sun the setting of your feet grown cold as you lay propped in pillows led me to ask why you’re teeth were kept in a cup of water and you said “Don’t smoke.” 
 I only four at the time I gazed into your hazy eyes which I know seen a lot but you were no spy
“God” knows you were born in California and
Buddha knows if I had not been an Ise tourist, my incense burning may have meant something
your somber poker face, a mask for all expression
I wonder where did those wrinkles come from  because
I hear you used to make jokes I hear Grandma fell in love with you this way
beauty queen of the barracks some say, samurai and rice patty, did you say
well I laughed through salty eyes when they scattered your ashes at sea
whispering a memory of youthful poses captured
forgotten memories fraying, I ask how one smiles in both joy and fear
in shades of black, white, and Topaz.

edit 11/30/07

Note: This piece was published in The Cauldron, the campus literary magazine, in the Spring of 2007.

Tags: japanese americans, poetry, the cauldron
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