Sophia Terazawa

Brave and Tiny Scholar

for Brandon and Lisa

Calm becomes the trombone, absolutely night; by nights the arrows go.

Hold my foot. For you, I dream a mountain; call me scorpion or scholar.

Suddenly, a year becomes alright. Smaller gods arrive to kiss your paw
then your brow. Scorpions arrive; melodies arrive.

Babies pull a book off a shelf. Her name is Yumi; call me Panda.

And I go, forty scars, absolutely dry; war around my ears. Smaller
clouds arrive, and I am brave, tiny Panda, scorpion of queens.


The Kiss

Walk with me, anon,
arresting thunder.

Should I leave?

The way a siege—
What blossoms underwater?

Should I wave?

For you, breathy rose of peach—
Sink us down, a throne.

It has to be—Eros.

That your birthday
led to bombing of a city.

Soon, I shower.

Bus on fire—
Both work out of time, locust.

Yesterday, I walked.

Thorn and nettle disappearing—


The Kiss, Again

Upstairs, the bus on fire held a hem of dress,
peaches after peaches. Soon, the water
infinitely red. I was burnt; surface, charged.

Soft as noun, birds anon parted glass
announcing limb by limb, going places.

Just, as now, in mouthing, when a mine
hath detonated, bodies recollect as one,
the shape of one who sees in her, returned.


Across the Willow [Salix Babylonica]

Anon two boats by dusk, rivers peal
     currency of moss.

Bells, vanilla, soft as water. There,
      I touch what’s mine

Fractures speaking, stones forget
      their nature.


Once correcting course, I walk across the bridge.

Returning—     Gibbons branch
     creating sound


     Younger ones          in ways of written

                                     saying             isn’t grief
                                                 splits when diving down.


Earthen shrapnel—          Were the barracks touched
     by vine, kudzu cities gored? How do I write
     on genocide, the after this, anon?


     I want to make a prism, less so, white.
     Swirling, gibbons stuff their mouths.

Canto: peaches dry
monumental crimes.


Anon—     The sun reframes a night—         Sleeping
     parts       are walking—       Bells.

Anon the goat is led.
     You make a field around you slaughter.

Vernacular—     Rebirth—         Syncopating
     upside down—

We had a month to speak


     Anon, removing
to its end—


     Wasn’t I     your grief          passing through
an umbra wheel
                                       in two
     conversations, raised along your ramp?


      I saw the maple
first of all
                  was fir          collecting, therefore

     scraped across her knees.

                                          Were I
          final, daughter            lyric
     passing a hold?

          The ship is passing


Sophia Terazawa is a poet of Vietnamese-Japanese descent. She is the author of two chapbooks: Correspondent Medley (winner of the 2018 Tomaž Šalamun Prize, published with Factory Hollow Press) and I AM NOT A WAR (a winner of the 2015 Essay Press Digital Chapbook Contest). Her poems appear in The Seattle Review, Puerto del Sol, Poor Claudia, and elsewhere. She is currently working toward the MFA in Poetry at the University of Arizona. Her favorite color is purple.