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February 28, 2023

Fresh Off the Plane

Nikki Corina
Fresh Off the Plane

An international death

of mother land—kin,

over the Pacific Ocean.

Everybody yt watched

my rebirth happen

at the LAX arrival gate.

Fatigued from pushing/

baggage that held

my whole youngin’ life.

At twelve; not much

comes along when

passing half-empty.

Tired, wide-bagged eyes

carried non-english


a non-english belly;

a non-english naivety.

I cried at heart (choked) so

the bystanders would think

I’ve always been here.

I acted stag-strong.

It’s a feeling of loss

& becoming.

I crossed immigration line

with suspicions

like Dante passing

the gates to inferno:

lasciate ogne speranza, voi chi'intrate

Welcome to America! my uncle Virgil greeted.

Nikki Corina is a Filipinx-American historical-research-technical-writer turned socio-ecological-justice-poet. Currently an MFA Candidate in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. You can find her poems in anthologies by the Los Angeles Poet Society and Routledge, amongst other places.

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