Rumpus Original Poetry: Two Poems by Charity E. Yoro








Waimānalo Bay Beach Park
Formerly managed                  the State         
Natural Resources
the land                       in the state’s hands
and                                          the       Air Force facility
“Bellows Field”                      after the land
the military to the State           lands that are still under
Environmental Assessment
improvements                         developed        federal money
Land and Water Conservation            the State’s improvements:
perimeter fencing                              picnicking                 camping
comfort                                   land
-scaping, a caretaker’s house


the Park                                   the City
the responsibility

A wealth
of resources

and access                              
to Waimānalo Bay                                          picturesque
stands of ironwood trees         large
open                                                    spaces             
known archaeological sites
an active and engaged community                

The foundation: the aging
facilities Essential
time and coastal environment
taken     toll
various states     of disrepair

leaking                                    broken
graffiti                                     Design                        
for rehabilitation

suffered the elements / habitable
space / deteriorating in the absence
parked residence / highly visible
visitor     little function

disposal                                   the base                       ironwood
southeast corner                      essentially unused
recreation                                overgrown
a thick tangle                         
introduced vegetation             dominated by haole


*“parcel” uses source text from the City and County of Honolulu’s
Environmental Assessment for Waimānalo Bay Beach Park (March 2012)


Geisha as Dole® Pineapple Upside Down Cake


Tyranny of Words

– Perfect is the enemy of

– Exotic accent

– Nihongo honor roll

– Bruce Lee car wash

– Kahuna curse



  1. Set navigation to [ ° N,        ° W]
  2. Baptize beautiful ethnically ambiguous baby1
  3. Use scotch tape to simulate a double eyelid2
  4. On the E train from 34th to Hoboken, ask the dark-haired stranger hanging soggy paper grocery bags from her forearms what kind of Asian she is
    1. Ask her at least three times
    2. Until her cheeks turn the color of the eastern fusion sun3
  5. Use a toothpick to check the density of the foam inserts in a 32AA push-up bra4
  6. Garnish with pickled ginger pilfered in sealed plastic pouch
  7. Serve with ornamental chopsticks as side dish
  8. If the senses feel offended, spritz with artificial plumeria flavoring



1. in holy pacific water, for best results

2. extend nose bridge across loyalties, international date lines

3. and tell her she should smile more

4. the underwire should leave marks on porcelain skin


Photograph of Charity Yoro by Sora Blu.

Born and raised on the east side of Oʻahu, Charity E. Yoro is a poet and creative producer residing on the occupied territory of the Atfalati, Clatskanie, and Kalapuya with her partner, daughter, and feisty feline guide named Rumi. Her writing can be found in Frontier Poetry, PRISM International, Ruminate Magazine, Fourteen Hills, the New York Times’s Modern Love, and other publications. She is a graduate of Portland State's MFA in Creative Writing program and co-editor of HerMana, an anthology amplifying intersectional writing by BIWOC. More from this author →