Issue 4 Poetry


Immigrants Are Like

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Inventing my Mother Self

When I gave
            birth, I felt like I had been
gifted a civilization
in progress. Slowly

the disquisitions came and were
eventually handed
over to the preschool.   Then,
A Series

of Firsts:         Every kindergartener needed
                       an enemy.

                       We needed
                       a tooth
                       fairy, so she had
                                  to be
                       invented too.

                       Your faith
                       in passion, coming

                       The five

                       The first
                       time you got fired.

                       The unclear
                       hallway where you had
                       either fallen
                       in love the day
                       before or Loana had broken
                       your heart.

                       When you began to “lose”
                       library books, happily
                       paying the library if it meant
                       the removal
                       of offending

the island materializing out

of the long, white

                       When you hit
                       bottom because you lacked

the island
metastasized, or perhaps merely
revealed itself, now that the clouds had
given way.

And now, shredding
my values like a molting
bird so that I can better
parent you, the island is so

real I realize
that I have been lying
on the shore this entire time.


Courtney Hilden’s recent work has been featured in Voice of Eve, More of Us, Panning for Poems, and Coffin Bell: An Anthology of Dark Literature.

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