Isako, Lost Things I

Isako keeps careful chronicle of lost things. Mother. Father. Hairpin. During war Isako loses city
which is also now. Always some nation under foreign attack. Air raid sirens busted brick and
shrapnel. Isako’s History of Lost Things. Line after line persons lost or missing. Photographs of Isako
as child. As bride shrouded in high-toned luxury. Silk kimonos Meiji castle first daughter
discovered years later. Tale of first marriage recalled as confession on family scroll also lost. After
second marriage Isako scrapes rice from bamboo rice bowl rinsed with tea broth. Look what’s
become of you.
Silver gelatin prints from previous life. Images never received. What Isako calls a
mystery. How can a life be lost if it was never yours.

Mia Ayumi Malhotra lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and her poems have appeared in Greensboro Review, Mid-American Review, Drunken Boat, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman and VONA/Voices Fellow and has been a finalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, the Benjamin Saltman Award, and the Kundiman Poetry Prize.