Brian teaches in the Asian Pacific American Program at the University of San Francisco. He edited the anthology Making Home From War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement (Heyday Books, 2011). Topaz is his first published poetry collection.
Every war begins somewhere. The boundaries
are me: my face, smile, language, my job. No matter what I did
your father thought I was crossing him. Between
your apartment and mine, we stood a breath
apart, your mouth a border shutting out
gentler words. I grabbed you by the T-shirt
like a bag of rice, you pushed me back, a ball of heat
enveloping us. When a forest ignites, balding the hills,
who lit the match, who flung it into the bed
of pine needles? Out the accusations came, armed
Apologies, dear blog readers, but self can go no further. This is the first third of the poem. Buy Brian’s book! The publisher is Four Way Books.