Susan Smith Nash

They've taken x-rays,

now they'll examine my bones,

my soft tissue

but my frame gives it away.

Like every immigrant, Im in exile;

don't bother to count generations

from that first passage;

were all the same


not knowing where we came from,

where were are going

Ive falsified my identity

based on what you want me to be --


Ive already forgotten
dreams embroidered into a dowry chest;

cucumbers put up for winter, briny green and sour;

a taste for gold wristlets

and thread-like wires through my lobes,

lights strung through bare trees in winter;

Nationality is an attitude, a drama;

a long winter, a hot summer.

Sip on your mango-injected processed fruit drink;

let me look deep into the false sun

of my tanning bed;

I hide my my copper-penny shoes,

my feathered purse;

give me a mirror

let me know myself by my surface.


I'm awaiting my x-rays

the nature of injury altogether too