• Literary Life

    Five Poems


    (written for a friend)


    I let the butterflies out
    Of my chest
    And see them burn themselves
    One by one
    Just to write your name.

    A Name
    (written for a friend)

    What’s in a name?
    Is it the sweetness
    every time the letters
    composing your
    word burst under
    my tongue’s cave?
    Or, is it the name-
    less thrill I feel
    every time I strip
    you of your word,
    and hide it inside
    my pocket and
    you not knowing it?

    Song of Jenny
    (After watching a news feature about a young girl named Jenny. She guides her blind father Dodong to work every day.)

    Before the dawn comes,
    I perch, like a bird, on the shoulders
    Of my blind father,
    To be his eyes.
    Today, like other days,
    Heavy mountains
    Will be my playground.
    Coconut heads
    He will gather
    And I, the dried leaves.
    He will not complain,
    For I will sing to him.
    “You are not heavy,”
    He would say.
    Father, is there a thing heavier
    Than this world to bear?

    Waiting for the Angels of the Night
    (News Item: Cold kills the poor in Brazil’s richest city
    June 30, 2016)

    Cold creeps again, pale as Death
    Her long arms emaciated,
    Her sharp fingernails,
    Dripping with dirt
    Marking my skin, her territory.
    My skin – a stranger’s skin
    My blood, no longer mine. She draws
    No blood.
    “You are mine,” her whisper, cold.
    Her eyes of death,
    Piercing my soul
    A single breath
    I keep hidden under
    My blanket. (She)They strip me
    “The security officers did it.” local media accused.
    But I am homeless. Stripped.
    “Please. Bring my blanket back first.
    It’s cold in here.”

    Holy Water
    I drank a glass of water.
    I thirst.
    I drank a glass of water.
    I thirst—
    A woman’s tear in my throat.
    I thirst.
    A river is inside me.
    I am river.
    I am river – meeting two seas
    Beside me.


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