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Between Kisar and Makassar
By Joel Vega

Here, no single bird takes the lead,
no wings in unison,
no silent schools of fish
flash silver together.

We wish we knew how to dream
as a people, to dare name
the deeper hues of ocean flowers:
firebrick, saddle brown,

dark slate gray of Pacific seas,
howling as if wind hides between our lips
or in pirate coves where waves burst
into hungry bees.

Here, the tattooed body swallows
the midday sky, and the ribbed chest,
part ocean, part lung,
hums the tenderness of wires.

Here, we begin with hues of terra firma.
Burly wood, cadet blue, peru .
Thistle, we give for trespassing,
white smoke, for surrender,

apple white, for ripened fruits.
We shiver before fear exists
like small animals
that quietly go to sleep.

| about the author |

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2007 Global Filipino Literary Award for Poetry
Patrick Rosal

As Glass


When You Haven't Made Love in a Long Time

The Woman You Love Cuts Apples For You

Kundiman Ending On a Theme from T La Rock

For My Childhood Friend Derek Who First Told Me I Could Call Him Nigger

Joel H. Vega

Woman in Alverna

A Street in Venice

Between Kisar and Makassar

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