“For Yumi Sakugawa” by Allan Aquino

Allan Aquino


inkings and instincts: i touch you, yumi, through screens, through
wall posts and blog pages: in such modern times, i know not
when i’ll see you, hear you, or kiss you: i’m with you online,
flinging away all chaos to post the candor that cures our
lonesomeness. i’m with you when you awaken in odd,
familiar homes where your radiant hands shake off
girlhood traumas, defending all youth. (what a
smile you gift us, to divert our misery!) i’m
with you, with whatever my quiet corners
can share, show-and-telling how genius can’t
take itself seriously: your pictures offer us truth’s
labyrinth, your words, a reminder for us to know our
shallowness. pureness weighs heavily, yumi, because
our defenses tense quickly, madly, when we see we’re not
as good as we’d like to be: how easy you make it seem, to fly
on after falling, to give without losing, to dream without sleeping.

from Rattle #52, Summer 2016
Tribute to Angelenos


Allan Aquino: “Though I was born in Chicago in ’74, I have lived in Los Angeles since 1980. I’ve been writing poems prolifically since 1992. My style echoes the lyricism of Carlos Bulosan and Eric Gamalinda, Filipino American poets who profoundly influenced the L.A. literary scene during the twentieth century. My voice, however, evokes my emotional experiences as a Pinoy raised in the San Fernando Valley. My intention is to convey a soul and emotional depth that is largely invisible in a dominant culture that emasculates and dehumanizes Southeast Asian/Pacific men. My kin and I are neither newcomers nor tokens: We are a proud part of a deeply-rooted historical and cultural legacy that continues to define our Los Angeles community.” (website)

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