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About this poet

May Yang is a first-generation Hmong-American artist, writer, and ethnographer from California. Writing under the persona HAUNTIE, she is the author of To Whitey and the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017), which was selected by Evie Shockley for the 2016 Robert Dana Prize in Poetry. 

To All My Friends

by HAUNTIE
 
That I could be this human at this time
breathing, looking, seeing, smelling
 
That I could be this moment at this time
resting, calmly moving, feeling
 
That I could be this excellence at this time
sudden, changed, peaceful, & woke
 
To all my friends who have been with me in weakness
when water falls rush down my two sides
 
To all my friends who have felt me in anguish
when this earthen back breaks between the crack of two blades
 
To all my friends who have held me in rage
when fire tears through swallows behind tight grins
 
I know you
I see you 
I hear you
 
Although the world is silent around you
 
I know you
I see you 
I hear you
 

From To Whitey & the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by May Yang. Reprinted by permission of Anhinga Press.

From To Whitey & the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by May Yang. Reprinted by permission of Anhinga Press.

May Yang

May Yang

May Yang is a first-generation Hmong-American artist, writer, and ethnographer from California. Writing under the persona HAUNTIE, she is the author of To Whitey and the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017), which was selected by Evie Shockley for the 2016 Robert Dana Prize in Poetry. 

by this poet

poem

by HAUNTIE

This matters because i’ve lived on that side of life that you all have made for 
me

partitioned
the orphaned one

i who carry the fire from your ashes, the chains of your people,
and the residual sting from an incessant yellow rain

This
poem
by HAUNTIE
 
Some time ago pale bodies slipped into Indochina and harvested
slave bodies to sow opium and mine silver. These slaves developed a
dependency on this unsustainable
poem
by HAUNTIE
 
i am straddling memory and the present tension
muscles turning into stone from the weight of time
how do you understand me in all of your knowing?
 
i am standing at crossroads
and there are many of them, one on top of the