For the little ones I'll never birth (Oprihory)
I've always joked how I wished
to carry your name like a stretch mark,
bear you children
who will die one day from chain-smoking
so this morning,
when I didn't find myself pregnant
I begged destiny to piss off
and stop joking that my womb
is a body bag.
Note to the bag I always carry around my shoulder,
I should've replaced you with a backpack 9 months ago,
ditched this province while it's dead asleep
and allowed Providence to book me a night or two
Note to serendipity,
Excuse me, but you don't happen to be related with pregnancy, do you?
Awfully sorry I treated you harshly when I was in my early twenties.
If only I'd been gentler,
I wouldn't have lost you so many times,
my life would have been fuller
and perhaps I wouldn't be
asking the world today
to keep screwing me.
To my dear screwed-up self,
stop googling happy poems.
Be the poem you want to read.
do you know the bruises on my mother's skin
inspired my spoken word?
My mouth is well-formed
by the most forceful poet in my lifetime -
my father's fist.
you may grow bigger but you will never beat
louder than my heart.
they could try to take you away
pull at your strings
until you hurt too much
you break into a war-song.
But what you know of walls
is that they echo the symphony
wanting to burst free
from your veins.
I only turn to you when I'm helpless
each cut is a journal entry
I hide from the prying eyes
who, thinking that they can find
the root of loneliness
below my navel ring,
write this prescription:
'quit trying to spread your wings
and spread those legs
These days, I guess you feel too much
and easily tire
for your own good.
But thanks for letting me know
that you have to pull more muscles
to stand up for lovers
than to run from haters
that there is more danger in standing still
in the safe zone
than in running across your greatest fear.
Note to my greatest fear,
you have yet to show me
how to tremble
call the saints by their proper names
but you only taught me
how to gamble
curse every form of holy.
Note to everything holy,
you are stained as your glasses
bearing scripture stories
that look nothing more
than self-inflicted cuts, bruises
so fucking vulnerable
Don't think even for a second
that I'll buy your testimonies
'cause you can name your price
but not your god.
I didn't like the last guy you sent to bring the news.
He killed me with poetic justice
said I am Pasig River personified,
everything that shares with my water
will be born
as the night
abandoned the ocean.
Geraldine Fernandez (Dray) is a graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education Major in English and a second year law student mental health advocate from the Philippines. Her works have appeared in various papers and poetry journals namely The Hundred Islands, The Plebeians, The Birds We Piled Loosely, The Fem Literary Magazine, Spillwords Press, Isacoustic, etc. She posts about mental health issues at https://instagram.com/gdraylovesgritty and could be reached through https://www.facebook.com/gdray.fernandez
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