Back to Issue Twenty-Eight.

21st Century Travel


We loaded the children
into capsules and shot them
into space.

They didn’t have a chance
to learn their own names
before we had them holding
their stories in white plastic bags:


Featherless migrations
follow environmental triggers, too.

Days to live
grow shorter.

Fluctuating temperatures
signal mass graves nearby.

Water begins to flow

In a tent perched
on the tip of a screw,
children eat three meals a day,
awaiting take-off.

They aren’t hungry now,
but in a few years,
someone will need to
teach them how to smile.

Wash your face.
Eat this bread.
Do your best to be credible.

My blood has built pyramids.
Your fear has built walls.

Tell me why you’re afraid
maybe we’ll let you in.


Kamikazes à Paris


Tunisian sisters
lived in a quaint flat downtown
then, they moved into

a handful of dust. Have you
been to Paris? What was it like?


Ghosts sell stale bread
in the market. It will be
a while until even

the Mother of Satan shows
her gleaming face there again.


If they were allowed
to carry, it would have been
a much, much different

situation. Carry it
now: baby, book, water, head.


They found a finger.
They found the brother and showed
it to him and asked

Did you loosen it, sever
it from the body now

too small and multitudinous
to be placed into a bag?


An explosion is
the product of entropy.
Unmasked, confident:

Choose your seeds with intention—
sow 3, 4 times, then reload.



The White Bull of Itaipu


Guinea hens chase a fluttering breeze;
cutting over land, locked.
Out of the Gran Chaco,
I ride with the dying doctor and his lover.
His blood is turning against him—
he is tired and in pain.

We pass fiery roadside stands of chickens
browning on spits, and slow for the cooing
of dove-shaped breads in Doña Chinuka’s shop.

Township after township,
we follow an endless clothesline
attended to by bellbirds
pinning up dresses
worn thin in the prettiest places.

Broom sellers wave us along.
Later, they will fall sleeping,
sweaty in their shacks, dreaming their brooms
into rifles.

We hear it, and then we are there:
the dam wrestles a river
to light a continent.

The doctor squeezes a weeping syringe
into his own arm. He tips into us
and then to the ground.

His lover takes the flower from her hair
and begins to eat it.

Through the churning mist of the spillways,
I see him parading across tainter gates and concrete.

By a thin rope around his waist,
he leads a white bull, bellowing
for its master.

Jennifer Hasegawa is a poet and performance artist. Her poetry manuscript, La Chica’s Field Guide to Banzai Living, received the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award and will be published by Omnidawn in Spring 2020. Her work appears in Bamboo Ridge, Tule Review, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Transfer, and a forthcoming issue of Bennington Review. She was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii; lives in San Francisco; and currently ponders paranormal phenomena, including alien encounters, Marian apparitions, and cryptocurrency valuation models.


Next (Elana Bell) >

< Previous (Alycia Pirmohamed)