Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Article excerpt

Nag-aagaw-dilim

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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