Sarah Gambito is the author of Matadora (Alice James Books). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, Denver Quarterly, The New Republic, Field, Quarterly West, Fence and other journals. She is co-Founder of Kundiman, a non-profit company serving Asian American poets.


Three Poems by Sarah Gambito


Iím looking for the good robin of everlasting sewing.

Easy as a bed to bed.

And his words are mints.

My shock in the ghost of the guest of my boyfriend.

First there is the Father.

He would not like me to tell you about him.

He is punching holes right now. Saying petit, petit, petit.

Garbled—he can seem like a balloon. Such a skin. A kingfisher.

We are afraid to touch him.

Like too many nights of touching ourselves.

He might plan to take us on a picnic.

We must be ready. We must be hungry.

I finished my blue necklace.

She tries to convince him because he was here on earth.

Dad quits his job for the umpteenth time.

Iím wicked lonely.

We are in a department store.

I buy him a blue bracelet because it is right there.

And I would wear it.

I buy it hoping he bought me something for Christmas.

This is never true of course.

We talk about religion. Of beautiful things in trees.

He wears an engagement ring.

I am shivery, full of V-8.

He drinks too much and cheats all the time.

All of whom he left behind in the Bible belt are singing Yes, yes, yes.

We put our hands over our face, our neck.

We are overcome saying "No, no. I canít. I canít."

Because Iím Supposed To

Egrets on the rim of how you love me. How your love is a feather, feathers under my head.
That leaves over my body. And leaves in fall. Leaves that people see.

I need your friends so much.

Because you love me and your friends with all the pliers try another relationship.
Iím wearing something that says your present. And I cry.

How does a family begin? How not to take its loop.
The small leather bound volumes glinting
along the threshed bone of me with my dress shucked earlier.

Still, I cared for him as he ladled the leafy vegetables onto my plate.
Weíre together in this quizzling, quivering thresh of light.

Immigration 1

My heart eats cake, Veronica cake that hates yoga
And lets me be crazy in the goldbar city.
So what if I donít love you.
My problems donít 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 didnít ask to be born here.
Didnít ask to learn the language.
And donít know how to save you.

Am I frightening you?
Iím frightening you.

Good and good and good and good.