Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Article excerpt


Filipino idiom meaning twilight (literally, snatching darkness)

Hold the flashlight and I'll raise my hands, make these shapes for you to guess at. The wall is a page, shadows invisible ink with the heat of breath on it. Flick the dark into life. The floor our bed. Everyone has a temper these days. Let's stay small, hide, quiet. My fingers form a mouth and ears and eyes. I bark a small clue for you. Will that do? You look away. The poor are often unlit. Undefended. This I know. Something rasps against the door. Our candles become currency, the air grainy, brown. Lights out. Remember this is the past now. I can never go untouched at night. Even the wind is all over me.

Naging bato

Filipino idiom meaning became valueless, lost, frozen (literally, turned into stone)

If Medusa were Filipina, I would want her power. Many's the time when one of us is gazed upon without consequence, when one is apprised, judged, appraised, for sale and consumption. …

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