There are things bigger than me.
Like husking the coconut
to sip its water,
hacking the shell, and scraping the meat
into strands before the third moon sets.
Perhaps your oracle eye fishes
in the shallows for the glimmer of a treasure
chest in the waters off this Palawan quarry.
Like deciding which fruits of the earth
can sell, recicada, in any weather
or can enter the tapahan
where smoke becomes copra.
No crows seem to caw
at the rim of the memory
of houses built in debt.
Like your sun-drenched face cracking open
to let laughter out. The pink flower
on your granddaughter’s cake blooms
against bales of hay piled by rice paddies.
There are things bigger than my stories,
like this island unbowed before a drought,
like the hard shell of the earth.