balikbayan / body9 December 2020
in the storage area
the price of living is
succumbing to the years
|endless conveyer belts extend
beyond this hemisphere
their moving inventories carried away
through skies of gunmetal and peerless blue.
the body is a reliquary of home essentials:
new navy dresses
pandan chiffon and january’s pineapple tarts
for a two-room apartment on la trobe st.
daughters conceal tissue boxes
and hopes with price tags still attached,
filled with silent regrets—
young adults seek themselves
though their lips (never) speak of love.
and for us,
is made finite.
bills compound each year
in memories that flicker like lightbulbs
an island with progressive amnesia,
people who become strange
when they no longer
into our lives.
for a handful of plastic marbles—
taking more and more
*note: a balikbayan box is a care package sent home by Filipino workers overseas.