Poetry / February 2008 (Issue 2)


by Luisa A. Igloria

The other country, she can still sometimes see
clear as a new postage stamp held slant against window-
light. The old grandmother remembers the sea-passage,

the fields where they burned ragged grass and smoked out
small skulls in the underbrush. While rain plumped the fruit,
they hungered under tin roofs and fed their bets to the fire.

Sometimes they trekked through red earth, past
cane fields and down to the beach, if only to watch
the moon grow flagrant, saying so little

that it was a silence she came to mistake for habit:
light's silver coin she was sure was being offered
and not merely held over the water, inscrutable

at their feet. More days now when she feels
she's still paying for moments she's ever betrayed
her desires, though she no longer calculates

how much time is left, or what else could be worth
wanting. Listen, she says: in this life, loss is that so-called
ornament scaling the fences heavy with orchids and bougainvillea.

Beware its fluorescent and tropical husk, wrinkled
as a bitter gourd's; its seed, only another body soon
buried in earth, waiting for the next hundred years.


Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.