• Imperial Manila

    1

    How straw hat to name a cross a
    cross. Is there a manuscript?

    My bereavement swells
    at your breath,

    the morning itself is at a loss.
    The word ‘critical’ has been wanting

    a piece of you,
    its heart whispering of halts.

    The Masses are composed (I

    delirious with song); a few
    on motorcycles, blowing fully-

    paid horns, worse for wear, brushed up. Of
    the women, those pregnant: thighs

    muffling the laughter, taking streets, tearing
    down our petty names on iron sheets.

    If, you

    won’t call, why did you ask for it?
    There’s strength in numbers.
    If you’re already happy, what’s

    the point? Is to change it so

    important you have to mark our heads
    with hearts of ash, our ears with tiny bites
    our necks with the heat of you breathing? It’s

    making us less than what we should be, asking

    for the deed to honor our parents
    as if forgetful lovers eating our work
    making little of our hands, the entire

    time piling contempt upon our needs:

    babies want more TV more than you
    they will buy you medicine, one day. Oh this
    this cold sheet here, naked and without you.

    A shore lined with cupcakes, my

    daughters fixed on pink & sprinkled, my
    wedded finds the array indelicate

    yet able to say something, what
    with tiny waves at it all day. What

    if the rare type arrives to embrace
    criticism? If some genius came to

    wheeze on the same deck, face to
    face? (a) Avoid at all costs. Myself

    I’d chew the stressed ‘fore the unstressed
    then forget where the turtle had buried her

    eggs, which of my fold had squished her
    way to murder.  (b) Maintain balance.

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