Haole Sonnet

By: Arah Ko

I learned thousands of these little knowings:
how to pluck bold rooster feathers, steam ti
leaves, bury pork shank under an imu’s
coals for two days until tender, always
they were patient with me, although I am
unteachable. Years of small wisdoms: here
this, how that, and when to finger-comb black
beaches for peridot, pluck ripe ruby
guava, find fresh fish by their clear, glassy
eyes, and still, I hardly know my name, and
how to swim, and where to pray. Small gods lived
inside the breadfruit trees and snow-capped peaks
but I have closed my shell to their voices.
Kupuna, where have they buried your name?

Arah Ko is a writer from the Big Island of Hawai’i. Her recent work has appeared in Fugue, New Reader Magazine, Grimoire, and GASHER, among others. She is an MFA candidate in creative writing at the Ohio State University where she serves as Art Editor for The Journal. When not writing, Arah can be found correcting her name pronunciation, collecting house plants, or stress baking. Catch her at arahko.com.