Black Marker

by Claire Hsu Accomando

At the White House briefing
on the Corona Virus, the 45th
President reads from a prepared text.
A reporter notices he used
a Sharpie pen to blacken

“Corona,” and wrote over it
“CHINESE Virus.”

More than 3,000 hate incidents
target Asians between
March 16, 2020
March 16, 2021.

Today on my walk, a cascade
of lavender lanterns dangle—
face down—over a redwood fence,
early gift from the Brazilian tree
and a neighbor I’ve never met.

Further on, orange puddles of soft
petals have opened overnight.
Vert-de-gris filigree hug the blooms,
no distance between leaves
and poppies. No distance at all.

A woodpecker leaves his tree
for a telephone pole. One affixed
with a metal barrel to provide
echo and double the impact
of his coded S … O – – – S …

On this day in Atlanta, GA.
Eight people shot dead.
Seven women
six of them

Claire Hsu Accomando was born in Switzerland from Chinese and French-Armenian parents. She graduated from NYU with a degree in Biology, but always has preferred literature to science. Her poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Mudfish, City Works, Critical Flame, The San Diego Poetry Annual, California Quarterly, Toyon Multingual Literary Magazine, Vagabond, San Diego Reader, and several anthologies.

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