The Coin of Your Country
BY MONICA FERRELL
When I take my scissors to your shirts,
I am frightened: not that they will whimper
But that they won’t understand the violence I mean.
That kind of violence is the other side of love,
Bright as a light-saber and permanent
As the angel’s swords above Eden
Barring that couple with a final X,
That violence means a love strong as death.
Once Sie ist mein leben, you said, meaning me
And I took those words personally
And knocked upon the door of my heart
Until all its birds flooded to you, in a rush—
Like the Iroquois, I tugged on our peace-pipe,
I wrote your name in smoke. Then went home
With my pockets rolling in shining glass beads,
My pockets so rich with the coin of your country.
Monica Ferrell, “The Coin of Your Country” from Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. Copyright © 2010 by Monica Ferrell. Reprinted by permission of Monica Ferrell.
Source: Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian (University of Arkansas Press, 2010)