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Two poems by Isabella Hsu

A Higher Call and Anaxagoras Contemplates His Compost Pile

A Higher Call

“Our system is so discriminatory against Black and brown people…I want to do as much as I can to make their lives easier.”

— Kim Kardashian

I’m different now; I aim for more than fame,

And only justice can relieve my thirst:

To represent, defend, and to arraign

On end until each verdict is reversed.

I know just what it takes to get ahead—

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From chats with Trump to being a sex tape star.

It helps that I don’t care what some have said

(Though it still took four tries to pass the bar).

The call to law runs deep, it’s in my blood.

I’ll make sure that my kids will be protected

From having to appear before a judge

(No matter that they’re safe—we’re well-connected).

I’m going to defend just like my dad,

Who knew that not all brown people are bad.

Anaxagoras Contemplates His Compost Pile

In evening’s lower glow, the scraps

From dinner’s vegetables are spilling

In tumbled piles—translucent skins

Of onions, ends of carrots, stems

Of eggplants touched with rot. All these

Lie where they’re left in seeming stillness,

Awaiting death beneath the soil.

But tilled and turned, they’ll live again,

Will break beyond their parts, divide

As looser atoms, other selves,

Transformed into the sediment

Of life: the hangnail or the thread

Of hair, the grime beneath a shoe,

The spot of drying blood, now brown,

The corner of a broken tooth.

Our darkened senses fail to see

This swarming mass of little worlds.

Once seething, they are settled now,

And lay themselves once more in earth,

Awaiting slow and strange rebirth.

Isabella Hsu

Isabella Hsu is a writer and editor based in Milwaukee. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing from the University of St. Thomas in Houston.

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A Higher Call

“Our system is so discriminatory against Black and brown people…I want to do as much as I can to make their lives easier.”

— Kim Kardashian

I’m different now; I aim for more than fame,

And only justice can relieve my thirst:

To represent, defend, and to arraign

On end until each verdict is reversed.

I know just what it takes to get ahead—

Sponsored
Sponsored

From chats with Trump to being a sex tape star.

It helps that I don’t care what some have said

(Though it still took four tries to pass the bar).

The call to law runs deep, it’s in my blood.

I’ll make sure that my kids will be protected

From having to appear before a judge

(No matter that they’re safe—we’re well-connected).

I’m going to defend just like my dad,

Who knew that not all brown people are bad.

Anaxagoras Contemplates His Compost Pile

In evening’s lower glow, the scraps

From dinner’s vegetables are spilling

In tumbled piles—translucent skins

Of onions, ends of carrots, stems

Of eggplants touched with rot. All these

Lie where they’re left in seeming stillness,

Awaiting death beneath the soil.

But tilled and turned, they’ll live again,

Will break beyond their parts, divide

As looser atoms, other selves,

Transformed into the sediment

Of life: the hangnail or the thread

Of hair, the grime beneath a shoe,

The spot of drying blood, now brown,

The corner of a broken tooth.

Our darkened senses fail to see

This swarming mass of little worlds.

Once seething, they are settled now,

And lay themselves once more in earth,

Awaiting slow and strange rebirth.

Isabella Hsu

Isabella Hsu is a writer and editor based in Milwaukee. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing from the University of St. Thomas in Houston.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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