Three Poems

by Emperatriz Ung

Dear Imperial Lotus

Bloom away from muddy water
Train tracks run west to touch east
to connect you back home
San Francisco never had it easy

Roll into the mud
Clay mixture on angel island skin so soothing
Lie on the bridge it shakes
Sun kiss sun burn
Clouds
pinned to the sky
莲花 can’t touch home

We hug walls of the tunnel
Golden candles light our way
Roots torn when lifted
out of the Middle Kingdom earth
implanted elsewhere
美籍华人 bloom from 血统 drops

你是中国人吗?
Code for
are you one of us?

你是哪国人?
Code for
what are you? Where are you from?

Rare hybrid, 南美
Beckons la flor de loto to face el sur
tongues tumble
dance to catch unfamiliar tones