by Gregory Pōmaikaʻi Gushiken

Māmā inhales Sunday
A Benson & Hedges Luxury Pack
Her chest, the billowing Pacific
Each breath an ocean river
Filling the soft space
Left by fleeting fathers
With tender carcinogens and tar
Sealing sandy sores

Māmā carries me on her back
To the market on the corner of
Her Hawaiian bracelets rattling
Pōmaikaʻi swirling in black
Ringing salty overtones
As makeshift melodies crash
Sailing siren sixths and
Trembling traffic triads

Māmā plants her revival
On the drugstore counter
Not reaching for charity
But for surging electronic change
Tasting mayonnaise bread
And rain drenched orange
Flavored, not juiced

Māmā sinks into the kitchen table
Still smoking her pack
T.V. static blaring in the background
Dishes silent on the rack
We eat funeral leftovers
She exhales


Gregory Pōmaikaʻi Gushiken is a queer Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) writer from Nānākuli, Hawaiʻi. A 2018 graduate of the English and Political Science departments at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, he is currently a Ph.D. student in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego, where he writes about kūpuna, kuleana, and kuapapa in occupied Hawaiʻi. 

1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to “Sunday

  1. Matthew S Gushiken

    Great poem

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