Adrienne Su



The trouble was not about finding acceptance.
Acceptance was available in the depths of the mind
And among like people. The trouble was the look into the canyon
Which had come a long time earlier
And spent many years being forgotten.

The fine garments and rows of strong shoes,
The pantry stocked with good grains and butter —
Everything could be earned by producing right answers.
Answers were important, the canyon said,
But the answers were not the solution.

Things Chinese

Once, I tried to banish them all from my writing.
This was America, after all, where everyone’ s at liberty
To remake her person, her place, or her poetry,

And I lived in a town a long way from everything —
Where discussions of “diversity”
Centered mainly on sexuality.

My policy, born of exhaustion with talk about race
And the quintessentially American wish for antecedents,
Eliminated most of my family, starting with the grandparents,