Flag Girl by Eliana Rebecca Wong

The morning of the Bernie Sanders rally, I waited
in the rain, the dew coating my sore legs, wind
running between my toes. When the doors finally
opened, I tried to fill the cracks between the crowd,
wanting to get closer– wanting to see my future.

There, from the back, I saw
a sea of scattered grits, the crowd peppered
with points of black and brown light. Children
darted past my feet, weaving butterfly patterns
in the air. A veteran in a wheelchair pushed
toward the front.

And then I saw you, shrouded in evergreen,
wedding white, and Dahlia red– as small
as a watermelon seed– and as large
as Rainbow Warrior, Seejiq with different skin.

How long did your Abuela spend
sewing that flag? How many stitches
did your parents carry along the border, fingers running
across the spine of the world?

When you were born, did your grandfather’s hands
pinch the corners together, folding it around
your faint body like Supergirl’s cape?

I wanted to hold you then, wrap my island arms
around you like moss on stone, tell you
we’d all be okay. I wanted
to be you, wearing a thousand-stitched belt
like threaded warpaint, ready
to tear down walls.

 

——

Eliana Rebecca Wong writes here.