Heritage and the Gorilla Suit
First thing you notice is the navel.
The less hair, the smoother its synthetic skin,
the better to feel along the table.
Your father is rubbing his face
on sweet corn. He wears
his father's father on his checked tie.
The rings under his eyes are what's left
of cold drinks and his inability
to use coasters. Potato salad flips
the light bulb sideways.
Your mother is talking to the reflection
in her knife. Everyone, including
the bust of Lincoln, has their back to her.
Why are your hands so blue?
She wants to know.
It's the dye in the gorilla suit factory.
Dyeing is your least favorite part
of the process. You bring your work home
and all everyone can say is
You don't look too good.
Arlene Ang lives in Spinea, Italy. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Envoi, Forklift Ohio, Georgetown Review, In Posse Review, Other Poetry, Rattle and Stand. She is the recipient of The 2006 Frogmore Poetry Prize and serves as a poetry editor for The Pedestal Magazine and Press 1. More of her work can be viewed at http://www.leafscape.org/aang