• Oh How To Find Silence In the World

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    Being spotted in the color of skin,
    why I take care in San Francisco,
    waiting for the bus to Iowa.
    They say racial prejudice is strong,

    Negros and not whites kawawa,
    and because of this they will revolt.
    I shiver and shiver from fear and hunger
    because I just landed from Tokyo.

    A Negro came into the station—
    naka-African hairdo; he holds a small
    whip: it’s scary to look, so
    I did not look at him. Kumakalansing

    the metal on the strings of his shoes
    and he shouts, “Peace, brothers!” Smiled         showing
    white teeth. Looked at me—
    maybe he laughed at what he saw—
    a tiny dayuhan, dark and from
    some lupalog. Upside down
    my insides went in fright and pulled
    a cigarette so the redness of my face

    wouldn’t show. I nahalata
    that the Whites there too were quiet
    so quiet, unable to speak in front
    of that Negro. Only when he left returned

    the normalcy in the station—others
    read again, neighbors gossiped again,
    laughter, the janitor sweeped again.
    After a while that Negro passed again

    two white Americanas on each arm,
    blonde, their beauty with no equal.

    The janitor stopped sweeping.
    I thought, “So this is racial prejudice.”

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