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NORM DAVIS

 

“Learn Chinese”

 

She said, “Mostly they fed us rice,” and

            everybody laughed.

I said, “What the fuck is so funny about

            that, bitch?

Half of the world’s population eats it.

            Probably more.”

But half of the world’s population doesn’t

mean anything to her or her twenty odd

            Easter Sunday friends.

I’m shouting at the racist television and my

wife is looking at me that way.  She thinks

            I’m nuts.

You eat rice,” I remind her.. “Do you  think

            it’s funny?”

She’s Asian, but she unites with the spies;

            the failed spies.

The spies who couldn’t spy straight.  The spies

who spit out the cyanide pills.  The spies who

landed the spy plane on “the enemy” landing

            strip where

it could be inspected at the leisure of the spied-

            upons

who photographed it from top to bottom on

            Kodak film which

they rushed to be developed at the local Kodak

plant that used to be in Rochester, New York

            but isn’t anymore.

The spies whose careers are washed up, and who

will be shot as soon as the de-briefing is

            completely over,

or who may be sent back to work in the Kodak plant

            mentioned above.

“Mostly they fed us rice,” she said.  And I said,

            “Get used to it.”

            “Learn Chinese.”