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  November 2015
volume 12 number 2
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  Sheikha A.
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  Angel Uriel Perales
  James G Piatt
  Frank Praeger
  Hattie Quinn
  John D Robinson
  john saunders
  Apryl Skies
  Julia Stein
  Jonathan Taylor
  Amy Uyematsu
  J.T. Whitehead
 
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Amy Uyematsu
November 2015
   

 

bio


photo by françois biajoux

    Amy Uyematsu is a third-generation Japanese American and Angelino. She worked for over three decades as a high school math teacher for Los Angeles Unified Schools. She's the author of four poetry collections: The Yellow Door, Stone Bow Prayer, Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain, and 30 Miles from J-Town. Recent work can be seen in Askew, Bamboo Ridge Journal, Miramar, Corners of the Mouth, Crab Orchard Review, and Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond.

   

 

Inside Traffic

It's a perfect way to begin my errands early
Saturday morning. Bocelli's "La voce del
silenzio"

is playing as I drive up Sawtelle. I don't
speak Italian but know the title translates
roughly as the voice

of silence, a most appealing idea, but maybe
it's telling that I listen to Andrea sing at
the super loud volume

I use when I want to hear a melody again and
again. Not even halfway through the song, as I
cross

Washington, a car streaks out of a driveway
just yards in front of me. I slam on my brakes,
honk, and know

this was a narrow miss. I curse a sentence or
two out loud, wishing the driver could hear me,
then replay

Bocelli's song from the beginning, trying to
return to the mood I was enjoying. But now I've
lurched

into my own noisy refrain, suddenly seven years
back at my son's wedding, remembering how
lovely

it was only to hear the shreik of someone I
love finding fault with anything she can about
that special day.

Not exactly the silent voice I want to hear but
not much choice for that same old conversation
in my head -

about how we let some people in our lives have
a power over us they surely don't deserve, and
we know

we shouldn't let them but we do. Now I've
turned onto Barrington and find it calming to
watch a solitary

woman runner slowly circle a grassy park. I
distract myself by looking at billboards and
store signs,

the one looming before me says POOCH in letters
which outsize all the other nearby business
names,

and I play the song again. Somehow I get
soothed back into the melody, no need to
understand the words.

copyright 2015 Amy Uyematsu