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Aiko Yamashiro

Aiko Yamashiro




August 9th, 2017

I was talking with Anjoli today about how women’s bodies are made to know helplessness like something we inherit. Nothing happened to you, did it? My mother asked me, like a child. She is in first grade. She is 69. I am a child. I am 31. She couldn’t say. And we are sitting in the afternoon sun, with this familiar feeling. People walk by. And I am naming all the women I know. And they are naming all the women they know. I read a book full of women’s stories from the Marshall Islands. About the nuclear bombs falling on their islands. Still falling in their bodies. Familiar. Like something we are born into. Like something we go home to. As the sky turns pink and the breeze blows. We plant self-destruction and cry. "Don’t worry," dad says. "America is the most powerful killing machine in the world. If anything happens to Guam, North Korea will be destroyed." 

That’s why I never let you out of my sight, mom said. And she sits down because she can’t stand anymore. And we sit and watch the planes fly overhead. I don’t know what to do, but maybe you could sign this petition with me. And don’t you dare tell me that’s just the way the world is. Where fire and fury is safety. Where all that’s left is to absorb the poison into your own body. That familiar feeling. That’s not what you tell a little girl.


Petition to oppose expansion of a military base and live-fire training in Guåhan, to protect the ancient village areas, endangered species, spiritual and medicinal site access, and groundwater supply of Litekyan / Ritidian:


The book I was reading about US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, and women who are leading the fight to heal their communities:





As you tell
your stories
of partners
and strangers
and teachers
and fathers
and uncles
and older cousins
what can I do
with this

fucking fury.


Impossible in the sunlight.
I see you.

Becoming medicine underground.

I see you.

This is how I see you.

This is how I see you bloom.


Inspired by the work of Women’s Voices Women Speak: to end rape culture of our bodies and lands.

Me too

Me too

Chris Teaño Lipat

Chris Teaño Lipat