Monsoon Madness


To Leonard Matlovich

Those cartridges that are empty
are golden like the sunlight
and the highlights of his hair.
He loved

that gold like he loved the petals
of the flowering daffodils gleaming
in the dawn with auric splendor.
The bullets

are scattered like seeds of loss,
two cold bodies of men, oblivious
to the blood that seeps
over the ground



Paano susumpain
ang nagpapatihulog?

Kung ginto 
ang dugong didila
sa mga tipak, 

kung ginto
ang magiging bitak 


Dead Chicken

I murmur an apology to the skull in my hand, 

no lighter than a handful of pesos.
The curve of its beak winds into a low note,
a soulful whistle that carries me to a graveyard 

where I writhe under the soil. 

Schoolboys place me on the end of a twig,
confines me in a box with a spider.
I am no lighter than an eyelash on the cheek
of a wailing daughter, dead mother, dead father
dead everyone, this is a festival of carcasses
Where in the sky forms a beak of its own,
it raises its head to hammer its mouth back down.


The Garden of Beings

long, long serpent slithers 

close with his male human 

lovers wrapped in each other’s 

skins but the aswang does not 

envy a small bit—her lips occupied

with her diwata’s own pair

a vision of brown and ethereal 

whiteness beside the tree that expels

a sigh of contentment as its exposed

roots clutches close its mermaid sweetheart 

underneath these couples grow a grass—green 

as the Eden’s but holy only to us.