The Hybrid’s Tale
You’re so exotic.
He’d stare into my almond eyes,
one lighter than the other
fingers following the tangled waves
that ran down my shoulder blades.
What was exotic?
My father, blue eyed brute,
born into the Los Angeles slums
when the city lights were still
filled by browning fields.
My mother, unbleached hazel,
proud to say she’s been
an American longer,
than ever a refugee.
You should dye it black.
The tangled waves,
hues of coffee and amber
were never good enough.
You should dress more like them.
the pink and blue sampot hol
with silk ruffles and mandarin flowers
don’t match my dirty sneakers,
and for the hundredth time,
it’s not a kimono.
No, I don’t know anyone
who works at that massage parlor
with the women in six inch heels
parading around the golden dragon
out in front.
No, my father didn’t rescue
my mother from the nail salon
and what makes you think
I would know anything about
mail order brides.
Television has taught you
that I should be exotic
Ready to submit
at the snap of your fingers.
Ready to present,
with a geisha’s poise.
You really expect me to respond?
Her Feral Sister
My sister sat with me in her car,
taking dollar bills out of my purse
because she wasn’t getting paid until next week.
Dollars going through the parking meter,
each beep reminding me of the news she couldn’t wait to tell me.
As she’s redoing her salmon lipstick
and making sure her right eyelash stays put,
she can’t help but let the words slip
I’m starting fresh. This is my new life.
She already has her mom fooled, this one’s the one.
I stare at my phone, nodding that I’m happy for her,
careful not to say
Is this your third new life this year?
She talks about his money, the daughter from a former marriage
how he called her pajamas Grandma,
picked her out some rouge lingerie for the dirty deed.
A few dirty deeds and he wants to move out and buy her a house.
I’m never quite sure what to say, all that comes out is nervous laughter.
Well, boys will be boys.
The one in Vegas comes to mind first, he also promised her forever.
What about the dealer in California? It wasn’t even his house.
I told her that I hope she’s happy this time,
each ring coming from her phone,
a fang severing more freckled skin.