Saturday, June 11, 2011

Virgin Loi - Karlo Mila

Virgin Loi
- Karlo Mila

looking back,
do I wish I had a Tongan mother
who guarded my chastity
with a bible in one hand
and a taufale in the other?
instead of my pale, polite, palangi mum
who gave me the freedom to choose
and understoof that all the rest of the girls I knew
used tampons

do I wish I'd had a Tongan mother
who put the fear of God himself into me
so that in the heat of many moments
I'd say No
I'm worth more
let's see the rock
buy me shit
and treat me like a princess
(until after we're married
and then I'll be your baby making
black eyed doormat)

those Tongan girls
I see them stare
see my skin half palangi fair
I watch your nostrils flare
I see you sio lalo

I know the coconut wireless
is so efficient
that I cannot get away
with what's actually true
let alone what is pure libel

once I thought I had a choice
and a right to choose
and I believed that ignorance
wasn't bliss
and experience
led to wisdom

I see you sio lalo

so what, I say
I won't wear white on my wedding day
cream suits me better anyway
I say
laughing on the outside
but on the inside
my hymen is broken

Karlo Mila is of Tongan, Palangi and Samoan descent. She was born in Rotorua, grew up in Palmerston North and now lives and works in Auckland. She has had poetry published in Whetu Moana, Best New Zealand Poems 2003, Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of Fusion Poetry, the Listener and Coffee and Coconuts. Karlo performs live poetry regularly.

1 comment:

  1. Hey just wanted to say awesome poem. Although I am a white man in Canada, things are not so different here for women in similar situations. Of course you know that things are also entirely different for everyone or you wouldn't be a poet.
    You are a real one so keep going
    In case you are wondering how a random white man in Canada came to be reading you poem, thank Google Assistant, because I am married to a woman who is a poet and used to be known as Carla Milo and asked it to find me her poems because I am missing her right now. That thing is so good it is creepy because not only did it show me your poems because your names are similar but also poems by someone with a name similar to a nickname that I have for her that I didn't input.

    Anyway I am going to send her your poem to her. She will love it. Everyone seems to write diffently so exactly the same here.

    You have a strong spirit in you please don't ever let anyone make you forget it