TagWestern Mindanao

You Crawl Through Doors

Y

I mistake the trees for clouds at 12:59 AM. On both sides, clothes hung by a plastic pole, hoping the wind will dry their tears. My legs, too long to allow me to straighten them. Too fixed upon my imaginings of you. The walls are a couple of inches nearer and the light escapes to the outside from a door that is tall enough for Alice. There is no bottle that says “Drink Me”, only a command from...

Creolité

C

“Comme l’Autre est la tentation du Même,le Tout est l’exigence du Divers”– Édouard Glissant To consent not to be a single beingis to declaim the effacement: aphasia.Directly below your mimicryis a plaster always molting. Andon a palimpsest is a secondhand memoryyou prize for yourself.So when the child comes up to youwith a gesture, owing from the rhythmyou do not recognize, you return a...

Intermediaries for loss

I

I work on the dining table, codingresponses from focus group discussionspeople recounting attacks, ambushes,deaths so silent we never understandhow to grieve for them properlyor what is just, how to bury their bodiesor honor their memories. Where isthe memory we can honorwhen one does not even know of a death?Where will mothers go to tellof the importance of her son’s passing?or the anguish of...

Dear debonair

D

Dear debonair, We have assigned profundity to obscurity As such, words have faded out to yellow—almost white But this is of no concern to you, is it? You cross my arms above my bum I bite the tongue you offer my mouth That sunlit afternoon was dark enough to conceal our indulgences People listen. They hush in anticipation of the noise. You shove me forward; I coopt tangerines with how tight you...

Toxemia

T

I let those little green trunks of asparagusdie from too much waterAnd when I finally had the courageand mindfulness to say something,the sulterito vanished into the clinic Maybe tomorrow I could finallyexplain to him the conundrum of thirst—How similar we are to little stems of thornsGuilty of thirst at only the most desperate second,hiding behind thick-skinned carcasses,knowing at once we will...

Blot

B

THERE is a color clouded underneath the walls of the roomput a foot, shove the shoe or a toe underneath its cloakin a graying green refracting light, it is imitating a rippleand the outside is there merely serving to contrast and nothing moreit sits and says that there—that there, is an internality,there—outside, she points—you will see an inside Is this not where the light breaks and changes...

Soma

S

We never really talk about our bodiesWithout eyes, all that’s left are the little of your cheeksfitting the curve of my hands; my arms,a hanging pretense of wings; the sole of your foot,a slope. The heel is a hill turned downward.The nape of my hips, a waterslide. Your hands on my pelvis, a firm request to waltz.There are many ways to encircle me–a hugor the resolute limbs you rest on...

Blasé

B

Did you not thank me first, stranger? I hadn’t known it was the day of reckoning You had never asked me to spell it out for you By the watchtower, I confided an old photograph In a moment, I thought you saw through me againwhen I turn around I hold back my smile. You, as usual, were expressionless Have you seen enough? You have been here, where we are We discarded the blue light, raised the...

Ta Cre Yo

T

After Arkaye Kierulf’s Horses Ta cre yo na silencio,cae aqui escondido el maga palabra;el tantiada de un nana y con el dolor,cae el maga cosas bueno, pirmi escondido;amo este el rason por el pensamientoque dificil el mundo; sino el deberas,necita sabe lang tu busca con el secreto.Ta cre yo na creada, cae este comotomada de agua. Y cae el verdadta depende na de aton pensadasi bastante para canaton...

Kilometer 3, Binuangan

K

This is how I remember. Wood planksnailed to wood planks to make an opening,And Love slipping into simpler planesFragments on the drying ground in the after-rainThe kamias fruit scattering green remainsand a red drapery of flowers in an afterthoughtA calling out, “Neneng! Neneng!”And the wide paved stairs still unplacedna un memoria of a childhood barefooted raceWe paused at the silhouette of...