Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 7 • Fall 2003 • Featured Writer • Poetry

As the Sun Falls Away

Ryka Aoki de la Cruz

Sadako glistens as the sun falls
She tries to sidestep, but the loam
has sprouted roots. They burrow
up her veins, vascular worms seeking
tenure in her hysteria,
satori in her womb.

If she were still haunted, she could
refuse cooked meat and
swallow atropine, or bury her pagan
skull beneath rice paper and blood.
Instead, she has yielded
to Christmas and expensive tea.
She's learned to look down
when stammering priests
slander Jezebel, to bolt the shutters
when the rabbit moon comes
courting its blessed autumnal bride.

Soon, she will take a husband
and then, a doctor, who prescribes
penitence for the weakness of her kind.
She will not argue, since she knows
he is right. Though the earth
stays warm for hours, Sadako shivers
and presses blunt driftwood
into her arms.

Ryka Aoki de la Cruz

Ryka Aoki de la Cruz is a transgendered goth dyke with a second degree black belt in Kodokan Judo, a University Award from the Academy of American Poets, and a Gothic dancing prize. Her work has appeared most recently in Beyond the Valley of Contemporary Poets, Girlchick.com, Liquidgothic.com, Southern Poetry Review, Rising, and Tsur. Ryka has work forthcoming in the anthology Poetry is Not a Luxury: Poems by L.A. Women of Color. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University, is a founder of Cornell University's Asian American Playhouse, and was coach of Cornell's 1990 Ivy League Judo Championship Team. She has worked with the American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, and two of her compositions have been adopted by the group as its official "Songs of Peace." Ryka has been featured at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Poetry Festival. She performed at ForWord Girls and Intercourse -- A Sex and Gender Recipe for Revolution, in San Francisco, Cliterati in Atlanta, Not the Vagina Monologues in Los Angeles and Gen Estro in Minneapolis. She teaches writing at Santa Monica College. For more, visit rykaryka.com.

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