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Christian Hanz Lozada
April 2024

Christian Hanz Lozada is the son of an immigrant Filipino and a descendant of the Southern Confederacy. He knows the shape of hope and exclusion. He authored the poetry collection He’s a Color, Until He’s Not and co-authored Leave with More Than You Came With. His poems have appeared in journals from California to Australia with stops in Hawaii, Korea, and the United Kingdom. Christian has featured at the Autry Museum and Beyond Baroque. He lives in San Pedro, CA and uses his MFA to teach his neighbors and their kids at Los Angeles Harbor College.



A weird, scraggly vine grows between sun-bleached rocks,

its leaves are small, a little larger than mustard seeds,

the stems are dry and brittle, showing just how little water

some need to grow, showing how nature is patient

enough to let you snap limbs while paying no mind.


My White Neighbor with white hair and a white t-shirt

passes by every day, shaking his head at the dry vines

growing between the gaps of my rock garden.

From a distance, about as far away as his house,

the vines look like drying moss that bloomed after a rain


but is now reddening and browning toward death.

He mad-dogs my front yard twice a day, walking his pet

and doing White calculus: another Brown person plus

the apartment buildings filled with X number

of Brown and Black bodies equals the 7% population


needed to trigger White flight. It takes less than a month

of me living in this house before the dude

has a realtor sign posted on his lawn. I read it as:

Enough is enough, the sunbaked soil is taking back

what is owed. Which is fine, he thinks,


nothing can grow here anymore,





For years, we selfishly worried about our elders,

the ones who kept their Hawaiian tongues secret

when the state dictated them cut.


There were so few in the family, we fretted

none would be there to pluck a child’s name

from the world like picking flowers for lei—


a gift at a greeting—no matter

that Queen Lili’uokalani’s birth name

was picked for the sore eyes her elder suffered.


As time passed, our elders did, too,

and we joked about blindly stroking

alphabetical lists of Hawaiian baby names


or going pull Pilipino and selecting one

based upon joyful pops across taste buds,

words without context and removed


from meaning other than being unique

and just foreign enough for future butcherings.

Maybe our child won’t have a Hawaiian name,


we consoled ourselves, Papa didn’t, and he was

the doorway to culture by blood and knowledge.

Maybe Hawaiianess isn’t in a name but in the blood


and the heart, and maybe we don’t have enough

of either to have a child, and maybe we could have

named him Kavika because that sounds so much better


than simply David, and I never talk

to my cousin David anyway because

he’s an asshole. And maybe life is better


when you cut out the parts of you

you think are important, and maybe

life is better childless.

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