There is no mapping out a space
definable only by the pigment
of its occupants. In these shores,
the economy of skin and hair
and eyes outweighs the mandate of coin.
An island local jokingly quips:
the border that outlines General Luna
from the rest of Siargao is determined
by the sudden, sporadic presence
of white bodies splayed on white sand.
A German tourist at a local nightclub
takes out his phone to film six
brown bodies across him, cheeks
blushing pink, teeth polished
and gleaming like mothers-of-pearl;
an ornate display of what attempts
to be the finest catch in an island
best known for its clam and fish?
their scales silky, slippery; guts strong
like shells carrying saltwater; mouths full
and seething with a language
so broken it is almost beautiful.