Sarah Gambito – "Immigration," from Delivered (Persea Books 2009)
The speaker in "Immigration" is fierce and complex in questioning the nature and consequences of assimilation. The poem challenges simplistic definitions of immigration's legacy, whether for an individual or a country as a whole. In rejecting any assumptions that history is sacred, the poem is a dare and a scare and a middle finger. Its barbs are aimed at a constructed veneer, digging underneath the snapshot for a deeper truth. I love it.
So what if I don't love you.
My problems don't even happen to me.
But to three girls grandstanding by the Potomac.
Respectively: your mother, her mother and her mother.
Three bitches in front of a trashcan.
Desirous of psychotherapy and a split lip courtesy of me.
Because I didn't ask to be born here.
Didn't ask to learn the language.
And don't know how to save you.
Am I frightening you?
I'm frightening you.
Good and good and good and good.
Here is a video of Sarah reading a different poem along the same vein:
Audio links and other poems: http://www.fishousepoems.org/archives/sarah_gambito/index.shtml
Author site: http://sarahgambito.squarespace.com/