Volume 69, Number 1 · Fall 2019

Momotaro in the Philippines

Here, peaches come from boxes
that smell like Europe, from cans
made of a tin-coated steel.
I lie with the peaches soaking in
saccharine darkness until freed.
I don’t recognize the children
who run toward me. Their faces
like the feathers on the feet
of birds. Their slippers repeating that
melancholic drone. Wake up, they say.
Wake up. And as I rise from
the dreamy fluid—oh, the America
which preserves me—I press
my sticky forehead on your sun-
freckled hand. I love you, am sorry,
am not a warrior, no hero. I
fight for nothing, am stingy. I ate
all the peaches from the can
from the box from which I came.

Marianne Chan grew up in Stuttgart, Germany and Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of All Heathens, forthcoming from Sarabande Books in March 2020. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in the Michigan Quarterly Review, the Cincinnati Review, the Indiana Review, West Branch, Poetry Northwest, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Cincinnati, where she is an Albert C. Yates Fellow.