Jul 28, 2009

Some Unsettling Connections

Written by Kimberly Quiogue Andrews

Read by Oliver delaPaz

In Pasig, they put up a wall of facades
to make every day a kind of Easter ––
gaudy resurrection, behind which the city
crowds, tin roofs like a completed puzzle
someone has pushed up against a wall. This is all
in order to say, of course, that artifice
is either end of a magnet, depending on who
feels worse that day, you or your imagination.
For me, the latter, no contest –– I appreciate
breakfasts of pandesal with strawberry jam,
and realize that the permanence of dead fish
is not a zero-sum equation. I’m fine, thank you
for asking. But those roofs, that Pepto-pink
blockade damming them from the loud streets ––
maybe I’ll arch over it, gather several
banana leaves on each arm like glossy flight feathers
and wave myself over everything covered
in dust and scales, flail over the thick of it
because nothing that’s awkward is worth doing
halfway. I did not intend originally for this
to become a metaphor for loving you, but here,
see how unsettlingly yellow this mango is?
Are you afraid of that sweetness? It’s all right ––
the Pasig river asphyxiates itself nearly daily.
I am made of green things rising despite
themselves, of an uncomfortable wet heat,
and in these sidelong spaces I’m willing
to admit that the current end of all motion
would be to push up against your turned back
in the morning, forbidden and quiet and pale.