2 Poems by Anis Gisele


fluffy clouds and pink eyes

O, Julie Chen, Elaine Chao, Amy Chua

I stage dive for a crowd
of white men, in-

to a crowd of white
men,

all of them with their tongues out, none of them with their hands
up.

I drown as if it is possible for air to not be-
long to me.

Someone is trying to tell us

if we thin
ourselves down to rice water

and pour ourselves into tea cups for white men, nothing will be-
long to us.

But I forget that this is
true,

forget the way white men trap
my inay,

draw a line on the ground with lipstick that is not long-wearing, not even
matte.

I am shaken from trees by my allegiance to white men. I
drop – buko shards, splatter.

The men step on what spills out and ask
if I came.

What This Country Does for Me

after Morgan Parker

What this country does for me is pack me tight
like a spring roll, pinch my edges
like a dumpling, say I taste good.

This country wants to know if I speak
Korean, sing karaoke, do I meditate?

Wants to know how I make English so pretty with my unwelcome tongue,
says my skin so nice for a Filipina, the bridge of my nose a slim white bone.

This country thinks I’m white
when it’s convenient,
when I can be added to a collection without
a name, when I’m an easy sun to have, with
no extra feelings.

I have no extra feelings. I take laxatives to make sure
I keep nothing. I am not extra. I have done all I can
to be this small. I dove headfirst into a sack of fish guts, ate
my own heart, because a white person asked me to
call out racism more respectfully.

I am sorry my voice is not a deep
bow.
I am sorry I tell you what you look like because you do not know.
I am not staying busy enough. I stopped making
you comfortable.

I look like a moon-faced woman
Matt Damon might fuck
the next time he saves [ China ]
I look like a slant-eyed white peach samurai’s wife
Tom Cruise might fuck
the next time he saves [ Japan ]

I look like my mother
who built wings for white men from her eyelashes,
gave her kingdom to tourists, bound me
to the poems I would have to write about [ white men ]
who wanted my mother to work like an assembly line doll,
to bring home money and fresh-smelling pits. All
they brought home was herpes.

White women keep asking why I make everything
so personal.

When I can’t sleep, next to my partner who is Tr*mp county white,
Gallon Challenge white, My mom can’t say Black Lives Matter
because of her job
white, I wonder if I know who I am.

If there is a woman in my family unclipped by whiteness,
she is long dead. Not one tooth remains.

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Anis Gisele is a poet, a survivor, a riot, and a believer of anger and disobedience as an Azn femme. They've earned fellowships and awards from VONA/Voices, Everyday Feminism, King County's Equity and Social Justice Initiative, 4Culture, Artist Trust, Hugo House, Jack Straw Cultural Center, and other institutions, both marvelous and complicated. They come from Manila, Philippines and from so many womxn who were told to be quiet. They attempt the Instagrams @kingartista_anisgisele.

Isabel Couchoud is a Spanish illustrator in her 20s, in strict quarantine at the moment trying to do the best of it, drawing, reading, video calls, bothering the cat...normal quarantine stuff. Recently, Isabel has worked with some cultural associations like Ca Saforaui and Skisomic Fest, and magazines like Nokton Magazine and Salty. Find her on Instagram