Coming of the August Grandchild

Not even the males and the men of the males
make use of their pinched tongues
to sing, not even the females
and the women of the females, corollas stemmed to spray on end
sing their ruddy stones
The males and the men of the males
feel the sea
the ranch and the wheat, rice ears
polyglottal weddings
                                      unseasonable lips
                     one body to the next
Indigenes displaced by indigenes displaced
wherein the ranchlands, then the fields of wheat, burn to the crust
The choice between taking the flowers-of-the-trees-
to-blossom and the long-as-the-rocks
always lands on the flowers-of-the-trees-
to blossom—
                               bouquet thrown hurriedly into the sun

Brandon Shimoda, “Coming of the August Grandchild” from O Bon. Copyright © 2011 by Brandon Shimoda. Reprinted by permission of Litmus Press.
Source: O Bon (Litmus Press, 2011)
More Poems by Brandon Shimoda