A Map of The Philippines

Janice Lobo Sapigao

What broken California am I from      what x-ray lacks bone and lays

underexposed             What splints for borders make a wrestling match for citizenship

Whose war on drug lords      of what government     What mouths like trap doors spin a labyrinth

          What revolution becomes a street sign     Isn’t a line a series of dots

What people power      What crown of thorns we are      This thorax poetry

makes foreign headlines makes the street a wake makes a sinking cruise liner of a

country Yeah   What country       just this mass of followers        born from the sword they brought to iron a

sobering laughter     Pretend I’m a package Pretend I’m coming undone

A typhoon of knives  a failed strangle  Pretend the outsourced women as weapons      What

weapons What sharp shouting in English this grip panel of teleseryes & dancers

You hit & run    unsolved crime   collection of belly buttons you mayonnaise inside

you mayonnaise outside         You minute hand jacking         you a old teddy bear

Pretend fire   Pretend I open from flame       Pretend this open flame breaks poorly

into orange     Pretend these embers catch roots     a rhizome     a rope      a fist        a crack

A semi-automatic kundiman    We camouflage American   We varicose ink  We a

dinosaur ghost        What good is your compass      If you got scissors for eyelids yo

if you pretend Magellan     if you Columbus      What time period did you sleep on

Pretend you erase when you don’t remember   if you pretend you don’t see us now what?

This a shredded blindfold   Not your nanay’s house no more    Your paradise come from

explosive smoke Your slippers ain’t armored cars Your pretending costs lives

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