Chino

The olla knocked with steam. The masa cooked.
                           She said her eyes are china. The vowel switched
on an aura, a shine that sheens the threshold.
                                          The vowel was spell: an i that might we,
an i that echoes how we’re seen and see.
                           Eyedentity. Ay Dios, she exclaimed
surrounded by photos — niños and nietos — 
                                          where I’m the only chino. How might I
see through my family’s eyes — an owl’s eyes
                           in ojos and one in its lid turned sideways 目 — 
I wondered with her at the table where we
                                         placed one olive — ojo negro — in each hoja,
that worn folio for field corn’s field notes.
                          What does that dark eye in the ear’s husk see?