This selection, chosen by guest editor Sarah Clark, is from One Way to Listen by Asa Drake, released by Gold Line Press in 2022.
Letter to My Younger Self
When I see men digging clay beside the confederate monument, I want to know if this is where we bury unspecific history. Make it look easy. Lately, I worry. Today I was told most mixed-race women die in fiction, which implies that the living version of myself is difficult for others to imagine. Today a crossing light, swallowed by the rainy season, joined the number of things I’ve touched that fall into sinkholes. All space I didn’t know I was risking. I worry a great deal about the unimportant ways you busy your hands. Get thee to a dry cleaner, my love. Let someone else play human. The woman behind me can’t stand to look. Who could do that every day, she says, like each night I boil moths myself and spin silk.
Asa Drake is a Filipina American poet and writer in Central Florida. She has received fellowships and awards from the 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest, Tin House and Idyllwild Arts. Her chapbook, One Way to Listen (2023), was selected by Taneum Bambrick as the winner of Gold Line Press’s 2021 Poetry Chapbook Contest. Her most recent poems can be found in The American Poetry Review, Michigan Quarterly Review: Mixtape and Waxwing.
Sarah Clark is a mad crip genderfuck two-spirit enrolled Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at ANMLY, Editor-in-Chief at ALOCASIA: a journal of queer plant-based writing, Co-Editor of The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2024) and the Bettering American Poetry series, and a current Board member and Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications. They have edited folios for publications including the GLITTERBRAIN folio and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms at ANMLY. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations, including the Best of the Net anthology, contemptorary, Curious Specimens, #PoetsResist at Glass Poetry, Apogee Journal, Blackbird, the Paris Review, and elsewhere.
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