Ally Ang

 Ally Ang is a spooky femme poet who writes about queerness, diaspora, family, and brown femme magic. Their work has been published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Fem, Crab Fat Magazine, and more. Ally’s first chapbook, Monstrosity, was published by Damaged Goods Press in 2016. When not writing, Ally is usually making music or howling at the moon. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @TheOceanIsGay. 
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Hope

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i want to build a home for my daughter

where i can teach her how to dance

before hunger teaches her first.

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i want to give her my brown skin

my love of self

and women

and spices.

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i hope she learns how to breathe

free of any man’s hands

around her neck.

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i pray that she does not inherit

my lack of homeland.

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i hope that she is tender

demanding

unapologetic.

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i hope she is born with a wild tongue.

i hope she refuses to let anyone

cut it out.

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Second Language

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i am teaching myself to recover

the movements of a mother tongue

from whom my mouth is estranged:

the purred “r” at the end of

apa kabar?

the naturally melodic cadence of

terimah kasih

and jam barapa?

the surprising tenderness

of aku cinta kamu.

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it’s too late for this language

to ever feel natural on my tongue.

it will always be foreign

even though it runs through my blood.

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i have an american name

an american body

an american tongue

that trips clumsily over bahasa indonesia

and builds an impenetrable barrier

between myself

and my own family.

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but i am trying.

aku mau mengingat.

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