This is what happens when
you realize that language is a two faced
Ann Pedone graduated from Bard College with a degree in English and has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Language and Literature from UC Berkeley. Ann is the author of the chapbook The Bird Happened, and the forth-coming chapbook perhaps there is a sky we don’t know about: a re-imagining of sappho. Her work has recently appeared in Riggwelter, Main Street Rag, Poet head, Cathexis Northwest, The Wax Paper, and The Phare, among others.
I remember what you said about a woman’s body/that it is
an instrument/all neck but no strings /You say you want to
suck all of the holiness out of her/But you do that and
all you’ll find is grain/ You see this light leaking out from
between her legs/We don’t have a word for that yet/at least
not in this language/I know this song won’t catch anyone
by surprise/Least of all you/You there with your lips on
her neck/Not so fast/Did you hear yourself echo through her
Did you get that/Language is a Trojan Horse/That’s why you
feel so/boxed in /Remember what your mother told you
Sex doesn’t follow Newton’s laws/It is a thing formed when
memory passes from milk to blood/When all of the words
that you’ve learned /go missing up inside her/Whatever you
do/Don’t try searching for her in the word woman/You won’t find her there.
Yong Takahashi was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Southern Fried Karma Novel Contest, Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest, and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. She was awarded Best Pitch at the Atlanta Writers Club Conference.
I sit on the edge of the deck every morning
as I go over the choice I made last year.
At a girl’s night out, friends asked each other:
“If your husband and child fell into the ocean,
Who would you save first?”
Of course, a woman is expected to
give the politically correct answer.
All the members pronounced
it had to be their golden child but
shuddered at the thought of making
the terrible choice in real life.
Then on a beautiful Sunday morning,
a drunk boater hit us and our family
of three flipped into the deep water.
My husband hit his head before
falling and my son panicked.
I had to make a snap decision as
both began to sink beneath the sea.
I wonder if I’d be happier if
I had chosen to save the other as
regret haunts my dreams each night.
The world judged me as if they
would have made the right choice.
Either way would have blown up
the perfect world I had made.
Everyone abandoned us, the survivors
of that fateful day, floating aimlessly
from one gray day to the next.
And each day like clockwork,
he comes outside and waves at me
and I wave back, thankful for him
but always longing for the one
I couldn’t save.