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  • Nisei
  • David Mura (bio)

An LA summer. 1940.My father is forgetting Japanese.My motherplays a girl in Seattle taking the hand

of her sister as they boarda streetcar to trolley to the beachand my father's mowingthe lawn of a Hollywood star

and the days are umberand burnt orangeand soon rains will overcast LakeWashington's skies, Santa Ana winds

dust and grit the airand they're still a decadefrom meetingnot as children but freed

prisoners who will stepinto a gymnasium in Hyde Parkto a tune by Glen Millerand spy each other across [End Page 264]

the dance floor: And thatis where I enter—as this glimmer, a shadow,the teller of their tale. [End Page 265]

David Mura

David Mura's most recent book is A Stranger's Journey: Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing. His four books of poetry are After We Lost Our Way, The Colors of Desire, Angels for the Burning, and The Last Incantations. His memoirs are Turning Japanese and Where the Body Meets Memory; his novel, Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire. He can be reached at



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pp. 264-265
Launched on MUSE
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