warm beige + butterscotch

warm beige + butterscotch

he told me to slip into
something more comfortable

so i

undressed my flesh
and revealed a skeleton

between clenched fist

and teeth,
i tell him
these bones, pale bones,
used to crackle
like a neglected fireplace,
that every time i stepped through
the threshold,
i felt the heat of my soul rise
and then evaporate.
that there was nothing

beautiful about the pain
and in a city of blank white pages
my skin was a coffee stain

so i’m sorry.
i’m sorry
for the nights
i awake creaking.
my limbs have not yet
acquainted with the skin
it has been wearing

but
against his pale canvas, 
i am warm beige
and butterscotch.
he sipped me slowly,
lips trembling,
on the rocks. 


do you know the pain
of a nation’s anthem
tugging at your vertebrae?

how do i stand up
straight
with a spine
comprised of a
language i can not speak?

how does my heart palpitate
when i don’t even know
the color i may bleed? 


mom
i wish you had taught
love
in tagalog
if not in english

dad
do not act
like you do

he is not on your team
unsaturated complexion
is not justification
for trust and unity


mom, 
do not be wary
of this one

this one would not deprive me
of the language i grew up with.
would not prevent my children
from tangling
themselves in the roots
of our people
like he did

this one
prefers
caramel constellations
to the freckles of the sky,

this one
kneaded the knots in my throat
so we could exhale
serenity into the night

 this one embraced the pale
bones
and the olive skin that draped
them  

this one
zipped me up
and told me to keep it all on

ji11ian

ji11ian

Loved Her Fiercely

Loved Her Fiercely

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