In the Chinese Grocery Store

William Sea


Some aisles smell dirty,

or sandy, perhaps

like rusted beaches


where children digging

find bottle caps

and dead starfish.


Not that it matters,

but for my sake

it feels old here


and crowded with

stolen centuries,

bottled up now


with words that

I cannot read

but have no mystery,


and my father,

paying with credit,

remembers how


miles away, he

picked lee-chee

off of misted trees,


breathing clean air

and dreaming of

far, strange lands.





William Sea's poems have appeared in The Ash Canyon Review, The Penwood Review, qarrtsiluni, and are forthcoming in Two Review. He is a teacher in Dallas, Texas and was born in Taiwan.