Academic journal article Field

Cousin Bang-Sota's Inheritance

Academic journal article Field

Cousin Bang-Sota's Inheritance

Article excerpt

Strapped on the back

of my cousin's motorcycle

I'm a sack of persimmons

The road made

of red buttons

my cousin drives

slow

She takes me everywhere she goes, even if I warn her

of dead people selling tamarinds

on the side of the road

We're going to Kandal anyway

She wants to show me her house

My insides

juggling

I am ripe enough to eat

I'm not scared of dead people

but I don't know

what to say to someone

I'm supposed to know

She carries me into the field

the field which is made of dirt, bones, grass, mosquitoes

wildflowers, and teeth

I open my mouth and persimmons fall out

One by one

they roll away

My cousin takes off her straw hat

Teeth in the field

clatter

The dead people are coming

I say to my cousin

I told you they'd be here

She kneels among wildflowers

waiting for her father

She lights incense

sticks them

in the dirt

Her father stands with us

slicing off a rusted peel

hands us each a piece

by the tip of his knife

He tells the dead people

to go away

we are his visitors

these persimmons are his

go find your own family

praying in a field

My cousin bows and smiles

She brings more offerings to him

before asking him for a house

a great big house

Her father points his knife

behind us

I stay in the field trying to eat everything

but they walk away together

A house is calling them home

[Author Affiliation]

MONICA SOK is a Cambodian poet from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. …

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