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Bay Poets

'Arrival as We' by poet Lauren Ito

Lauren Ito is a gosei (fifth generation Japanese American) poet and community craftswoman from an island outside Seattle. Her writing explores the tensions of choice and force within identity, inheritance, and home. Lauren’s work has been featured by The San Francisco Public Library, The Seattle Times, Japanese American National Museum, Nomadic Press, and in various performance venues, including the Mission Arts Performance Project, BEAT Museum, and Gears Turning. Her most recent publication is the San Francisco’s Poet Laureate’s series, The City is Already Speaking.

Arrival As We

Thousands of women hum in my blood

Forced to play god

Cradled their knives with a gentle hand

Lifted gazes to the horizon

And summoned air

Tucked it into laugh lines

A teacup

A birthmark

A prayer

For generations yet to unfurl

Knowing breath is never promised

Always

Especially these days

Always.

Always.

Remember this

Inhaling sunrise and birdsong

We never arrive alone.