If You Can’t Find One in Queens, Forget About It-David Lohrey

Put on your seatbelts, David Lohrey is taking you to Japan in this hilarious and real travel poem

A Global Divergent Literary Collective


I love Japan.

I’m so into it, I eat my cornflakes

with chopsticks.

I want to fit in.

I’m so into it, I wear a fake, jet black

top-knot of my bald head.

Japan is everything I imagined

it would be. They still hate us;

it’s a chance to re-experience WWII.

On the trains at night, late, I imagine

someone might run a bayonet through

my knee, screaming, “Stand up straight.”

They greet visitors at the airport

with a test. “When,” they’ll ask,

“are you planning to leave?” If you answer,

“Never,” they send you home. There’s

only one acceptable answer to this question.


Many foreigners love it even more

than I. They eat rice cakes for breakfast,

lunch, and dinner. They bow as they talk

on the phone. They have all their body hair

removed. They wear tattoos of men raping carp.

They regret not having slept with…

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I always knew I’d end up divorced

divorcing a parent is a judicial process

whether you go through the court systems or not

it’s not as simple as holding a homemade funeral

burying printed out emails

and sharing a few spiteful words

painful anecdotes and reluctant admiration

for the cold, hard bitch

she still is


There are bureaucratics.

You have to divorce an entire community

and ask permissions

and be careful not to put anyone

in any awkward positions.


I won’t come bearing flowers

You can call me a drug addict

a prostitute, a lunatic

mentally ill, unstable,

suffering from hysterics

spoiled, self indulgent

worthless, bad from the start

made with bad blood


Maybe I was

as a baby in Massachusetts

but now, I’m grown up

and I am leaving it

whatever you say,

I won’t be here to hear it


and someday,

you will change your mind

when you are old and dying

reflecting on your life

and you’ll invite me

to come to your bedside

and you’ll choose to forget

that you were never

at mine.