Fall 2006 • Vol. XXVIII No. 4 Poetry |

Kubota to the Chinese Poets Detained on Angel Island

My geography does not match yours, surrounded by the bayAnd the city so close by you can see it from the hill of Island.I am at the middle of an ancient sea, raised up out of waterTo make a dusty land of red and pink rock, yellow cliffs,                    and snow peaksfar from the Great Ocean you crossed from your home villages. But we spend our days alike—gazing at bare walls,Composing poems to carve on them, bedding down at nightTo the whistling of wind through bars and barracks.When the moon shines and insects chirp under our bunks,Grief and bitterness wrap around us like cold, winding sheets,And we rage against the whites and the promisesThis land made to us it would be a heaven of gold mountains. Hard living through confinement—our families not near,Interrogators trying to catch us in storiesThat do not match what your immigration papers say,That do match lies informants have said about me. Can you remember how many steps t

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