from Thought Sports 1

Dejima

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

         para T y P y M

let’s play a game: first step? wife or wet nurse?

heathered fragrance of breast milk or perfume?

whose ginger curlicue crushed shōguns. whom

is worth study? umeboshi kyōi. pursed

cheeks, flushed freckled, unsought laws crashed verse

nutmeg. cooper. flecked hint of Marathy.
mamushi christened for baby daddy
exchanged facades on a fan shaped island

oddities. neither skilled courtesan almonds

who receives clover, astrolabes, lacquer, cohi.

drops of bonyū sweet rice spectacled aijin [2]

did honor let the boy pick up Nihongo?

a single vase might have stored cane azijin [3]

cherries for the daughter. what for the Jawa-go?

 

              before bombing Nagasaki

a Akage mardigras [4]
                        um ryôtei [5]

 

                        where geisha charged triple for Dutch

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1 Thought Sports is a series of multilingual poems written during a two-week residency in Leeuwarden, Netherlands in 2019. These poems explore not only language but also the cross-sections of the Dutch engagement with other cultures via trade, colonial rule and assimilation through the eyes of a Black/Indigenous female body.
2 Japanese, mistress
3 Japanese, vinegar
4 Japanese, red hair
5 A type of luxurious traditional Japanese restaurant. Traditionally they only accept new customers by referral and feature entertainment by geisha, but in modern times this is not always the case. Ryōtei are typically a place where high- level business or political meetings can take place discreetly. (Wikipedia)