Categories
Poetry

Ensemble

I. Gongs

Ceremony

Gods will be angry
If gongs have no harmony.
Strike it properly.

Betrothal

Gongs made of copper.
But it?s a sincere offer.
Marry my daughter.

Omen

The gong?s an heirloom.
Perfect present from the groom.
No love, meet your doom.

Categories
Poetry

Candy Keeps An Island Alive

Every December, my uncle pops rice paper candies in my palm. 
They barely survive the voyage to mouth. I can?t explain 
how the heat from my supplicate hands boil its sugary coat. 
When it gets to my mouth, 
lingers like an island, saliva aquamarine,   
           pacific ocean tongue. Sucks out the gummy bits. 
They cross miles and miles for me to digest, take the plastic out 
of the ground and crumple, sounds like a song.   

This is why I wear charms and keep a birthright in black hair,
be the flour in the pandesal, the sweet ensaymada, 
           fathers kimchi, I take it upon myself.
This candy sends me to sugary tombstone where I indulge 
for a second, imagine this is what 
their dirt taste like and how  
could America taste better than this?

Categories
Poetry

At Napagod ang Hagdan

Maya?t maya ang pagdaan mo sa aking mga baytang, 
Tila isang dambuhalang dumadagan sa katawan. 
Malimit pang magmadali ang hakbang mong may pagyanig, 
Na para bang isang lindol at ikaw lang itong manhid. 

Kadalasan ay ako rin ang ?yong tagpuang-pag-ibig, 
O di kay? ay up?an o patung?n ng ?yong g?mit. 
Sa ?kin mo rin iniiwan ang basurang ikinalat, 
At ang dura mong animo?y luha niyong mga ulap. 

At sa hul? ay muli kang nanlalata sa pagdating, 
Mabibigat ang ?yong hakbang at mayroon kang hina?ng. 
Sinabi mo?y pag?d ka na sa pagbaba at pagpanhik, 
Tugon sana?y pag?d na rin ako sa ?yong pagbabalik.

Aklat Antolohiya ng LIRA Fellows 2018, Great Concept Printing Co., November 2018

Liwayway Magazine, Manila Bulletin, Marso 2019