Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry

Rachelle Cruz

I Am Still Alive

in response to conceptual artist On Kawara's I Got Up At series

"We are the same, but different. Things are the same, but different. The days are the same, but different." - On Kawara

I got up at 7:01 AM Pacific Standard Time
in Los Angeles, California
in the same position I fell asleep in last night:
a whisper of emptiness tied my arms
to their sides. Crickets overheard
and readied their strings.

I dreamt I was the woman who lived in the shoe
except the shoe was a red book with no cover,
the infinitesimal title I Am Still Alive.
My back groaned at 5:55 AM.

At 7:05 AM, I opened my face to the rain.
An accordion wheezing lightly in the mud.
Time, the two hands I admit no control.

Issue 1 | June 2010

At 7:00 AM, after a night of fleeing vampires
in Senegal, I left the Saigon Luxury Bus Line.
I have never cracked a head open so easily before.

I drained the red, red wine out of me at 6:35 AM.

At 8:45 AM, and didn't shower.

I got up at 5:05 AM to your face peeling mine open,
last night like the spray of orange,
stuck to the heels of my hands.

I wanted you at 7:13 AM in Fullerton, California.

At 7:30 AM, the rain didn't stop,
the earth didn't stop. In Port-au-Prince,
Haiti, the ground flew up above the people.
Birds didn't have the courage.

I got up at 6:56 AM and thought I had been praying
this whole time.