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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Audrey L. Reyes (she/her) is a queer Filipino poet and former early childhood educator whose favorite workplace activity is raising hell. Her work has appeared in several online literary magazines, anthologies, and print issues around the world. She resides in Manila.