In honor of the passing of Yuri Kochiyama, we offer you an ode to Yuri's activism, inspiration, and leadership by poet David Mura.
--Karissa Chen, Fiction & Poetry Editor
SONG FOR AN ASIAN AMERICAN RADICAL: YURI KOCHIYAMA
I open the door
and there she stands hectoring me
about Malcolm X.
Says impatiently there’s no time
for sumiye or sake,
exigencies of meter, rhyme.
She’s so tiny, I’m so
unknowing, the fractions enormous,
all those years of fires
in Philly, Detroit, Oakland, Harlem, Watts.
Behind her the night
stalks its stars beyond history
and I know if I shut
this door each time she vanishes farther
till nothing remains
but silence and sleep.
Reader you may think
in the end I’ll let her in. Don’t
count on it. That’s
why she keeps knocking
night after night.