Litany of the Once-Perfect Child

Sampung mga daliri, kamay at paa/ Dalawang

tenga, dalawang mata/ Ilong na maganda/ Maliliit

na ngipin, masarap kumain/ Dilang maliit

nagsasabi/ ‘Wag kang magsinungaling.

Ten fingers and toes/ Two ears, two eyes/ A

beautiful nose/ Small teeth, for eating/ A

small tongue/ That doesn’t lie.

How perfect we were/ at birth/ doted on/ Tabula rasa/ grazing on our soft newborn skulls/ Madami akong pangarap para sa’yo/ God forbid/ we learn to be/ own persons/ Sayaw ka para sa mga bisita/ Speak at length /on wrongs/ in this world, in our homes/ Sumagot ka na ha/ God forbid/ they raise a child with a sharp tongue/ and fists raised in defiance/ Pamamahay ko ‘to, sumunod ka / God forbid some of these tongues/ wriggle out lies/ Wala akong anak na sinungaling/ to live in perceived harmony/Ginawa ko ‘un dahil mahal kita/ God forbid these tongues/ touch/ all you deem unholy/ Beybi pa rin kita/ One that says fuck/ to fuck/ and fuck/ Oh, fuck/I’m not/ your angel/ child/ Ganyan ba kita pinalaki?


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