s h a n n o n    o s a k a

 

 

MY MOTHER AND I ARE ON A BOAT


HOSPITAL STAY


TELEVISION POEM









































MY MOTHER AND I ARE ON A BOAT

 

My mother and I are on a boat. She is like my
mother when I was a child but not exactly the
same. I am too tired to paddle so I let her do it, but
I feel sad. Are you tired of paddling? I ask her
every ten minutes. After a while she stops answering.
The ocean slaps on the boat. I would like to take
over, but I have my own problems. One of them
is guilt.

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HOSPITAL STAY

 

I was thirsty. I was thirsty and my voice box
had been removed by an angry doctor.
Similarly my hands were stumps. It was a
handsome irony. I want some water, I told
the peach colored nurse. Of course she did
not understand me. I thought I was
speaking but I wasn't. The next day I sent
my mother a blank postcard. I imagined her
treasuring it as a token of my struggles,
framing it above the mantle like a rich
woman with a sad, sad daughter. My throat
slowly parched. I communicated by blinking
until my eyes gave out. My body lay like a
tired bag. The nurses propped my eyelids
open with little wires. They slipped oxygen
into my empty throat. Is this the end? I
asked one who came to change my sheets.
But I knew it wasn't close. I felt like a long
line. I felt like a small, shriveled piece of
house.

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TELEVISION POEM

 

Making remote controls
out of fur
occupies me
                    when you are pulling out teeth 	on the interstate
                when you are taking horses to water                   when you are cellphoning
hello hello

                        I want to see a commercial           all about me
       wearing a space helmet             and waiting for your shuttle

sometimes masturbating
               is like ringing a bell
                                    over and over

                                                 Pick up the phone
Let's watch the one where
                                                            I am pregnant with maps
                                                            and wearing a bikini

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SHANNON OSAKA was born and raised in San Jose, California, and is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at Princeton University. Her poems have appeared in Forklift, Ohio.


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