Shareen K. Murayama
At the Dollar Store that charges more
than its name, I ignore being under-
charged for a tube of Wicked
lip gloss. It’s a game I comply with
like piss in a public pool, I never swallow.
Bachi means bad luck or karma.
Seven young sex trafficking victims
were recovered by the FBI Honolulu,
where young means children and re-
covered doesn’t mean to get back
what was spent. I know what you’re
thinking. Maybe they’re framed behind
non-glare glass, LED lights shining down
at a 25 degree angle. These little red rescues
occur every day. A cell phone, car keys,
somebody purchased the last menu from
the Titanic for $83,000 — eggs Argenteuil,
consomme fermier, and chicken
a la Maryland. I know what you’re thinking.
Who would harbor someone’s tragedy?
When Rooster confronts Maverick,
his father’s death can be traced
to the F14’s flameout. Can you believe
nothing good comes from something
jettisoned? The stunt pilot who died
filming Top Gun’s death scene, the child
actors who died after filming Poltergeist.
There are windows where people have
fallen out of. Everyday I tell you this
is my last relationship. It’s a game we
comply with. I’m sure it’s coincidental,
this pairing: my desire to be good versus
my desires. Bachi is when our distances
are ignored, no matter the rubbing
against good deeds, the warmth
of your hands ironing my fears.
SHAREEN K. MRAYAMA is the author of two poetry books Housebreak (Bad Betty Press, 2022) and Hey Girl, Are You in the Experimental Group (Harbor Editions, 2022). She’s a Japanese American, Okinawan American poet and educator and a Pushcart Prize nominee.