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After immigration interviews on Angel Island

Poetry | Poetry Tuesday, poetry
May 10, 2022
1.   What is your name? Other names?
2.   What is the name of the town you are from?
3.   Where is your mother
4.   Buried? Your grandparents? Name the town
5.   Why did you    what did you       name your daughter?
6.   In your old house, in which direction did your windows face? North
7.   East? How many steps away is your house from your
8.   Neighbor       count the steps. Give me a            number the times you painted your
9.   House or carved words onto its side. What is your name     in other names. Are you alien here
10.  To work        skilled or unskilled?  In Mandarin prisoner translates into
11.   one who is detained      so the one who does the detaining remains largely
12.  invisible. Is there a clock in your father’s bedroom   is it facing the window facing the north in
13.  Father’s house      the clock ticked bedroom         When did you depart your home-
14.  Town? When you were married     You were     married at noon outside
15.  The bedroom      The clock ticks         killing the curtain        What material
16.  Are your floors made of      never half a cup of rice scooped          from the pot you named your
17.  Daughter after     why did you name her frame is a skeleton building made of
18.  Wood like the floors of your
19.  House. How many people saw the wedding     You say your husband wore
20.  A red suit    Your brother says it was
21.  Yellow     facing the north east of the steps of your neighbor’s
22.  House         you and your husband ate from the same table           No you ate on different
23.  Oceans do you remember where your parents are buried. Do you believe you are fit
24.  For skilled work         Name the people at your wedding              name your
25.  Daughter if I could name a daughter I’d name her after a wooden
26.  House or maybe the sea that goes shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh