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Poem-A-Day

Through Poem-a-Day, we present original, previously unpublished poems by our country's most talented poets throughout the week and classic poems on the weekends. 

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Archipelagic

About this Poem 

“What to say when someone asks where home is? Especially when ‘home’ for you can mean the Philippines—somewhere you haven’t lived? When you were born a hemisphere away, but have inherited its faiths and myths, its capacity for awe? You give yourself permission to feel at home in your blood; you try to invent a new language for your answer.”
R. A. Villanueva

Archipelagic

R. A. Villanueva

Not vinegar. Not acid. Not
sugarcane pressed to mortar by
fist, but salt: salt, the home taste; salt,
the tide; salt, the blood. Not Holy

Ghost, but a saint of coral come
to life in the night crossing a
field of brambles and thorns, the camps
of pirates beat back to the bay

with hornets. Not Santo Niño.
And not a belt of storms, but this:
girls singing, an avocado
in each open palm, courting doves;

a moth drawn to the light of our
room you take to be your father.
 

Copyright © 2014 by R. A. Villanueva. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2014 by R. A. Villanueva. Used with permission of the author.