Transplant

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I know all about fights I won’t win.
Friday night in San Francisco,
the fog a cold wall boxing me in,
insular contempt driving me out.

Get out of our city. Go back
to where you came from.
Techie scum. Chink.

Never mind that chinks like me
built this city, dusted its hills
and creaky trains with their bones,
painted bridges with their blood.

Sunday morning, I am sitting
in a free patch of sun in the park,
watching the first dogs arrive,
sniff new tails with suspicion.

I don’t need you to remind me
I’m not from around here.

A transplant

that won’t take, like the first
                                      foreign
hearts
                    rejected by the body

before scientists learned
how to make them beat
as if they always belonged.

 

 

San Francisco, Through Chain-Link

 

Photo “San Francisco, Through Chain-Link” by David Olimpio.

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About Author

Jenny Qi is a writer, scientist and co-founder of the storytelling podcast Bone Lab Radio. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Huffington Post. Her poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Rattle, Off the Coast, and Spry, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is currently based in San Francisco.

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